The Northern Westchester Examiner

Local Municipalities Awarded Funding for Microgrid Projects

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Three northern Westchester municipalities have been awarded approximately $100,000 each to support innovative microgrid projects.

The towns of Cortlandt and Somers and village of Croton-on-Hudson were among 83 communities that qualified for the competitions Stage 1 awards. The victorious municipalities will now study the feasibility of installing a community microgrid, which is a standalone energy system that can operate independently of the main grid in the event of a power outage.

“The Hudson Valley continues to prove itself as an incubator for new technologies,” said State Senator Terrence Murphy (R/Yorktown). “It is no secret that our state continues to face an energy crisis and I applaud these communities for taking a proactive step toward energy independence.”

In Cortlandt, where some businesses and residents lost power for 10 days during hurricanes Sandy and Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, officials are researching a microgrid with biomass, natural gas and diesel that would provide power to town hall, New York Presbyterian-Hudson Valley Hospital, fire departments, schools, water filtration plants and other facilities.

“The Town of Cortlandt along with our Town Board and Committee is very pleased to have been selected by NYSERDA to work on a microgrid feasibility study,” said Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi. “The results of this study will eventually assist with a better grid system and lower costs for our residents.”

Somers experienced power outages during recent severe storms that lasted up to 11 days. Its microgrid of solar and diesel energy would power town offices, gas stations, the State Police barracks, nursing homes and other facilities.

“The Town of Somers is fortunate to receive this award sponsored by NYSERDA and we are looking forward to working with our partners and community groups to make this a success,” said Somers Supervisor Rick Morrissey. “After Hurricane Sandy it became clear that we needed to upgrade our energy infrastructure and this grant is the first step toward making that objective a reality.”

Much of Croton was left without power for two weeks by Hurricane Sandy. Croton plans to follow the model of a “nested microgrid” in which there would be two main geographical areas in the system, each fed by their own portfolio of distributed generation and each capable of staying powered in island mode during a grid outage.

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