Monday, February 23, 2015

NY Prize Awards Development of Community Microgrids

Governor Andrew Cuomo, May 26, 2014. Credit: Diana Robinson
Ever since Hurricane Sandy wreaked its deadly wrath on the Northeast, and especially in New York, state officials have shown a heightened interest in the idea of community microgrids. New York State recently announced a program, known as the NY Prize, to award community microgrids $40 million for developing plans that will reduce energy costs, improve the reliability of electric power, heighten consumer choice and increase energy efficiency.

Several other states have already begun to give a leg up to the infant microgrid industry, including California, Connecticut and New Jersey. In New York the emphasis is on complex, community microgrids.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo first announced the intention to create NY Prize a year ago, in January 2014. New York’s overriding interest is to have community microgrids which will keep the power turned on even during severe storms. Superstorm Sandy was the spark, and continuing bad snowstorms have kept the concept on the table.
“Having a reliable source of power is crucial when extreme weather strikes – and by launching this microgrid competition, we're encouraging the development of more resilient energy networks across the state,” Cuomo said.