Brian Pugh on the community microgrid

Brian PughCroton Village TrusteeTo the Editor:

At the last Village Board Work Session, we discussed the findings of the feasibility study for a possible community microgrid–a local energy grid that can disconnect from the traditional grid and operate autonomously to serve as an emergency back up.

Representatives from Hitachi Consulting, which prepared the feasibility study with a grant from NYSERSDA, reported that a microgrid would be economically and technically feasible.

In non-emergency situations, when the regular power grid is in operation, the microgrid’s  resources will be optimized to meet electric demand across the entire electric system. The proposed microgrid would provide power to eight critical “nodes” including the municipal building so that they can continue to provide services to residents in an emergency.

According to the Hitachi consultants, the microgrid, by combining federal tax incentives and the energy savings from distributed generation resources, could be economically viable even in the absence of any additional grants.  This calculation does NOT consider the benefits of increased reliability in an emergency.

Key issues remain unresolved, such as the ownership structure for the microgrid.  Since these issues are so important and another Sandy could stike at any time, it’s important that we start early and work methodically. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board to moving this project forward and making our village more resilient and sustainable.


Brian Pugh