After Connecticut experienced multiple severe weather events causing major, lengthy power outages, the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) established a microgrid pilot program to overcome these challenges in the future. The program provides grant support to communities across the state for microgrids that support local critical facilities (e.g., hospitals, police and fire stations, water treatment plants, etc.).
TRC is the lead technical and engineering advisor to DEEP and utility partners Eversource and United Illuminating as the entities review and fund microgrid proposals submitted through the program.
TRC helped establish the project feasibility application process and has supported the evaluation of proposed project plans based on criteria including safety, technical feasibility, societal benefits, economic benefits, financial considerations, configuration of power distribution to customers, and project costs. TRC works closely with DEEP and the utilities to select technically viable and economically justifiable microgrid projects.
The program awarded $24 million for 11 microgrid projects in its first year, which have included innovative energy efficiency, fuel cell, energy storage, demand response, solar PV, and combined heat and power components. Projects include:
In funding well-designed microgrids across Connecticut, DEEP is promoting safe, clean, and reliable energy for municipalities and universities. This distributed energy model reduces demand on the traditional grid, brings new renewable generation sources online, and reduces risk of outages. This value is especially meaningful to the numerous critical facilities across the state that benefit from the microgrids’ islandable capabilities.
The program demonstrates important sustainability leadership, as noted by CT Governor Dannel Malloy: "Our statewide program is a national model and others are looking to Connecticut's program as an example of how to increase resiliency and protect residents, commerce, and vital services.”