Report: Microgrids are ‘central pillars of today’s local energy revolution’
MicrogridKnowledge.com has issued a free white paper aimed at educating community leaders about microgrids and how they can be developed. While the paper is fairly broad, sketching out general concepts and defining terms, it notes that microgrids are “a key feature of the new clean and efficient electrical infrastructure that is beginning to transform America’s energy grid.”
Among the benefits: Keeping the lights on in emergencies; strengthening the central grid; enhancing community economics and improving the environment. And in trying to lower greenhouse gas emissions, the paper found that “cities may also reduce their electric rates, if they pursue a systems approach that incorporates [combined heat and power] connected to microgrids.”
The paper also examines financing methods, including federal or state funds, private investment, energy bonds and tax credits.
“So far, much of the funding cities and towns have tapped for microgrids comes from government sources,” MicrogridKnowledge noted. “Most notable among state programs is the NY Prize, a $40 million grant program to create model community microgrids. New York has already begun awarding $100,000 prizes to cities for feasibility studies in the first stage of what will be a three-stage grant process.”