Several states are taking energy into their own hands following President Trump’s controversial decision to take the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord.
Those who are leading the effort in microgrid development have showed their support for the Paris Agreement by joining the U.S. Climate Alliance. Formed by the governors of California, New York, and Washington, the alliance is taking the lead on climate change where the federal government has pulled back.
States are looking to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 26-28 percent from 2005 levels to meet the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.
A microgrid is a localized group of electricity sources as well as a low-carbon energy option to power to homes, business, or communities. A microgrid can connect or disconnect from the grid to enable it to operate in both "grid-connected" or "island-mode".
Here are a few ways states are integrating microgrid programs into their efforts:
California has more than 120 existing, developing, or proposed microgrid projects adding up to 650 MW of peak capacity.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has committed $1 million dollars each for 11 microgrid projects, $11 million in total, as part of the state’s $40 million competition to spur microgrid development.
Washington state recently committed $3.5 million for two utility microgrids as part of the larger push by state to develop grid modernization models that can be replicated elsewhere.
Pennsylvania was recently featured in Microgrid Knowledge for Pittsburgh’s development plan for microgrids. The city is pursuing a range of other green programs, including smart building upgrades, renewable energy goals, and electric vehicle transportation planning. “The idea of having an energy plant that is 100 miles away producing energy to make your toast would be left in the 19th century, where it was started,” said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto.
Connecticut was the first state to commit to microgrid funding. The state has even recently funded a microgrid project that will generate clean energy, manage electricity cost, and supply emergency power for public buildings and business.
Vermont is proving that home microgrids are not just for the wealthy with what may be the only modular home community in rural America. The non-profit Clean Energy Group has worked with the local utility Green Mountain Power to equip 14 modular homes in Addison County with solar-plus-storage microgrids.
(h/t: Microgrid Knowledge)