New York yesterday awarded $8.3 million in $100,000 increments to 83 entities looking to explore and possibly build a community-supported micro grid. The awards came under a prize competition concocted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) energy team that will move forward in three stages. The first stage, announced yesterday, will allow those selected — including local governments, public utilities, community organizations and others — to study the feasibility of a microgrid. Those that move forward into stage 2 would get engineering support and more funding, with stage 3 victors winning state money for project construction.
A microgrid is a stand-alone energy system that operates independently of the traditional electric grid. The idea is to avoid widespread outages and give local entities more flexibility to connect to renewable power, storage and other technologies.