Demo of Oncor Microgrid at Smart Cities Week; Timing Good for those Exploring NY Prize  

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Schneider Electric and S&C Electric made a big splash earlier this year with their work on a first-of-a-kind microgrid, developed for Oncor in Texas.

The project is now hitting the road, so to speak, with a demo on display Sept. 15-17 at Smart Cities Week in Washington, D.C.

The demo, which includes video displays and a direct live feed from the Oncor microgrid, will offer first-hand insight into a functioning microgrid at a time when the appetite for such information is high. Dozens of New York communities are trying to learn more about microgrids as they prepare project feasibility studies. The communities, 83 in all, received $100,000 awards for the studies in the first stage of the competition, known as the NY Prize

New York communities also are gearing up for the second phase of the contest, expected to begin in November, where they will vie for up to $1 million for use in microgrid design. Applicants are likely to be those who won in the first phase as well as new communities.

“We’re going to recreate the Oncor microgrid experience center in the convention hall,” said Philip Barton, director of microgrids and distributed energy resource management at Schneider Electric. “Schneider Electric hopes a lot of the NY REV and NY Prize teams will visit the experience center to see the world’s most advanced microgrid.”

In all, the NY Prize will allot $40 million for community microgrids.

Schneider Electric is involved in several NY Prize projects, according to Christopher Bleuher, business development manager for Schneider’s microgrids and energy reliability program.

In some cases its work is still behind the scenes, but Schneider also has been publicly named in the following projects:

  • Two Bridges, Manhattan

The Two Bridges/Beyond the Grid Community Microgrid would serve a mix of public and private residential, institutional, and commercial sites along Avenue C between East 10th Street and East 14th Street in the East Village, all of which were impacted by flooding and/or electrical outages as a result of Hurricane Sandy. The proposed microgrid would include a mix of natural gas and renewable generation sources, including combined heat and power, energy storage, and demand-side efficiency measures, and would serve three public schools, community center, pharmacy, supermarket, and a variety of apartment buildings.

Partners: Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, The Louis Berger Group, Schneider Electric, Milestone Architecture, WiFi-NY, Morrison & Foerster LLP, New York City Housing Authority, L+M Development Partners, New York City Department of Education, Village East Towers, LES Ready, University Settlement, and Con Edison

  • Eighth Avenue Microgrid, Manhattan

A microgrid at a 2.9 million-square-foot building located in the Chelsea area of Manhattan between Eighth and Ninth Avenues and 15th and 16th Streets. It is owned by Google and includes medical facilities as well as critical telecommunications equipment. The proposed microgrid would include solar, combined heat and power, fuel cell, and energy storage technology to serve the building’s diverse tenant base.

Partners: Energy & Resource Solutions, City of New York, One City Block, New York Power Authority, Beth Israel Medical Center, Schneider Electric, and Con Edison.

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  • Village of Croghan

The Village of Croghan is a small village in a rural community that has suffered storm related outages in the past due to major storms in 1991, 1995, 1998, and 2013. A study will evaluate the feasibility of a microgrid to support critical rural community facilities such as the village hall, village fire hall, senior citizens housing complex, health clinic, and water and wastewater treatment plants. The proposed microgrid would be powered by newly installed hydroelectric generators at a renovated dam in the village and supplemental power from a solar array.

Partners: Development Authority of the North Country, the Village of Croghan, Lewis County Development Corp., St. Lawrence Gas, Schneider Electric, Larsen Engineers, and National Grid.

More information about Smart Cities Week is available here. A video about the Oncor microgrid is here. Read our recent article about the NY Prize here.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.


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