NY Launches Microgrid Competition

February 13, 2015 By Karen Henry

New York snow Energy ManageNew York’s $40 million energy competition, NY Prize, is now accepting proposals for microgrids that meet energy and resiliency needs of local communities. The prize money for the winning designs will be used to build microgrids across New York State.

The competition aims to increase power resiliency and reliability of the electrical system in the event of an extreme weather event or emergency. Microgrid technology plays an important role in the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative.

Eligible parties for the NY Prize include local governments, community organizations, non-profit entities and for-profit companies. Potential projects must be integrated into utility networks and serve multiple customers, including at least one “critical infrastructure” customer, such as a hospital, police station, fire station or water treatment facility.

The NY Prize competition will work with the private sector to spur new business models and community partnerships to increase reliability and reduce costs for consumers. The competition will prioritize project replicability and transparency as well as designate feasibility and design requirements.

The competition will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), with support from Gov. Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery.

The competition has three levels of funding: basic engineering studies, advanced engineering designs and support of the installation of a major on-site power system. NYSERDA is currently seeking applications for the first phase, which will provide up to $100,000 to as many as 25 to 30 communities to study the feasibility of microgrids in their locations.

Based on the results of the studies, up to 10 communities determined to be most suited for a microgrid will move onto the second phase, in which $1 million will be made available to each community to conduct a detailed engineering design and business plan. Funding of up to $7 million will be available in the third phase of the program to help support construction of a microgrid. Cost-sharing from the community is required for the second and third phases of the competition.

Photo via Shutterstock.

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