Quick Microgrid News…Haiti’s First of 80 Microgrids…More on NY Prize…Congress & Microgrids

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In this week’s quick microgrid news…

EarthSpark International, an organization dedicated to ending energy poverty, has completed the first of what it hopes will be 80 microgrids in Haiti.

Called the EKo Pwòp microgrid, it is serving 430 homes and businesses in downtown Les Anglais in the South of Haiti. The microgrid operates with a 93 kW solar PV array, 400 kWh of battery capacity, and a small diesel backup generator.

Working with Digicel, Haiti’s largest telecommunications company, EarthSpark also tapped into underutilized capacity from a generator powering a telecommunications tower.

Early project funding came from National Geographic and from the Government of Norway; later funding from the US Agency for International Development, Linkin Park’s Power the World campaign, the 11th Hour Project, the United Nations Foundation, and individual donors.

EarthSpark and the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Forum have set a goal to build 80 microgrids in Haiti by the end of 2020. About three-quarter of Haiti’s population lacks access to electricity, according to EarthSpark.

Barton & Loguidice has won a contract to prepare a microgrid feasibility study for the village of Malone, New York, according to a local newspaper report.

The Malone Telegram says that the town was awarded a $100,000 grant through the NY Prize to conduct the study. Barton & Loguidice, a New York-based engineering firm, will assist the northern New York town study a possible microgrid that could include its three prisons.

Malone is one of several towns so far that won the grant money, the first phase in a three-part contest for $40 million in microgrid development funds being awarded by the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority.  Others who have won the $100,000 grants include: Cayuga County, the Village of Port Jefferson, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Bath, Westfield, Sherburne and the East Hampton area of Long Island.

NYSERDA expects to issue up to 25 awards for feasibility studies, followed by 10 grants for $1 million that will be used for microgrid design. In the final stage, NYSERDA will choose five projects that will receive up to $7 million for microgrid construction.

Congress has heard testimony on about 100 energy bills in recent months, as it prepares comprehensive energy legislation.

A bill (S. 1258) sponsored by Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota,  would create loan and grant programs for microgrids, combined heat and power and other forms of distributed energy.  Funds would go to states, tribes, universities and utilities.

To be eligible for funding under the Franken proposal, the “Local Energy Supply and Resiliency Act of 2015,” projects would need to accomplish at least one of the following:

  • Improve grid security and resiliency during extreme weather events, grid equipment or software failure, or terrorist acts.
  • Increase use of local renewable energy resources and thermal waste energy
  • Enhance feasibility of microgrids, demand response, or islanding
  • Enhance management of peak loads for consumers and the grid.
  • Enhance reliability in rural areas, including those with high energy costs.

Earlier, we reported that Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska,  introduced a bill into the Senate that instructs the Secretary of Energy to create a national strategy to promote hybrid microgrids for isolated communities.

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Elisa Wood About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. She has been writing about energy for more than two 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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  1. […] team is safe, and they are now repairing the Les Anglais microgrid which they said fared comparatively well during the storm. Most buildings in the area were […]