Three South Fork Electricity Microgrid Projects Awarded State Grants

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East Hampton Town, Southampton Town and the Long Island Community Microgrid Project in East Hampton have each been awarded funds to support their innovative microgrid projects.

New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. announced Wednesday that each recipient was presented with approximately $100,000 to use toward their energy plans. The three projects were among 14 efforts on Long Island granted funds and among 83 in all of New York State. They were awarded under Stage 1 of the NY Prize Microgrid Competition which is working to support a new generation of community based power.

With the funds, the projects will be able to look into the possibility of installing community microgrids. The microgrid is meant to function as a backup energy source, a standalone energy system that can remain independent of the main grid and continue operating during power outages. The community microgrid would be available to contribute additional power during peak energy demand as well. It is anticipated that the systems would combine renewable power with advanced energy technologies and subsequently produce an energy grid that is cleaner, more affordable, more resilient and localized for a limited number of users.

During the next six to eight months, fund recipients will proceed to assess operational, technical and financial prospects surrounding their proposed microgrid projects. Expecting to discover the optimal technical configurations, the funded studies will also be trying to search for immediate opportunities for energy efficiency and distributed energy limitations. At the completion of the research efforts, communities can pursue additional funding from the NY Prize or follow through with the energy resource options they uncovered in their feasibility studies.

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