Lawmakers Take up Microgrid Bills in New Hampshire and Hawaii

March 7, 2019
Microgrid advocates are urging New Hampshire voters to call their legislators in support of a microgrid bill scheduled for vote March 7. Meanswhile, legislation to install microgrids in schools is before Hawaii lawmakers.

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

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 the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

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