Lawmakers Take up Microgrid Bills in New Hampshire and Hawaii

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Microgrid advocates are urging New Hampshire voters to call their legislators in support of a microgrid bill scheduled for vote March 7.

microgrid bill

By kaysus/

HB 183 would establish a committee to study changes in law necessary to allow for microgrids in electrical supply.

Now before the New Hampshire General Court’s Committee on Science, Technology and Energy, the bill is scheduled for a House Floor vote on March 7.

The bill is sponsored by Peter Schmidt, a Democrat from Dover, and Howard Moffett, a Democrat from Canterbury. It was introduced on January 2.

The legislation is straightforward, simply calling for creation of a microgrid study committee, which would include four members of the House of Representatives, appointed by the speaker of the House, and one member of the Senate, appointed by the president of the Senate.

Hawaii bill puts microgrids in schools

Microgrids are also on the radar of lawmakers in Hawaii, where House Bill 1583 would create a pilot program to test renewable energy microgrids in schools. The pilot projects would be installed in four schools. In addition, the Public Utilities Commission would consider ways to incentivize the implementation of renewable energy systems in public schools.

Sponsored by five Democrats, the bill cites the devastation to Puerto Rico’s grid caused by Hurricane Maria and notes that public school structures can serve as designated shelters during disasters.

“If a disaster of similar magnitude impacted Hawaii, having some shelters equipped to continue to provide backup power independent of the electric grid while recovery efforts are underway will greatly increase disaster preparedness,” says the legislation.

The bill passed upon third reading in the house on February 28 and moved on to the Senate where it passed first reading on March 1.

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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.