Southampton, NY to Study Feasibility of Community Microgrid

July 5, 2015
Bids are due July 22 for a community microgrid feasibility study being undertaken by Southampton, New York, a Long Island town that wants to ensure power supply to critical resources during severe weather.

Photo of North Sea Harbor, Southampton, NY. by Leonard J. DeFrancisci

Southampton, New York is seeking an experienced microgrid team to study the feasibility of developing a community microgrid that would ensure power supply to critical resources during severe weather.

The Long Island summer resort town issued the request for proposals (RFP) July 2 and seeks bids by July 22.

The study will examine the possibility of including several facilities within the community microgrid: Southampton Town Hall, a police station, three fire stations, the Southampton Village Hall, a library, an emergency medical facility, a hospital complex with existing natural gas supply, Southampton Village Department of Public Works complex, three school complexes, and a wastewater treatment plant.

Southampton is working on the community microgrid in partnership with the local utility, Public Service Electric and Gas (PSEG) – Long Island. Other partners include the Village of Southampton, Southampton Hospital and Rogers Memorial Library.

The town specified that the microgrid include several features. For example, its primary fuel must be something other than diesel, and it must be capable of providing on-site power in both grid-connected and island mode.

The microgrid  must have islanding and black start capabilities, and be able to automatically separate and reconnect from the grid during power outages.

Southampton intends to include renewable energy in the microgrid, but wants it paired with generation or energy storage that accommodates any renewable intermittency.

The microgrid’s generation also must be able to follow the load while maintaining the voltage and frequency when connected to grid. When islanded, it must follow system load and maintain system voltage within American National Standards Institute (ANSI) c84-1 standards.

An advanced microgrid, it also will include:

  • Two-way communication and control between the community microgrid owner/operator and the local distribution utility through automated, seamless integration.
  • Protections from hackers and protection of private and sensitive data.
  • Power to critical facilities and a diverse load, such as residential, small commercial, industrial, institutional customers.
  • Uninterruptible fuel supply or a minimum of one week of fuel supply onsite.

Last, the community microgrid is expected to result in lower greenhouse gas emissions and lower stress on the transmission and distribution system.

The town envisions the study proceeding in four phases.

First, the team will configure the community microgrid for normal and emergency loads and identify distributed energy and demand response needs.

Second, they will analyze the microgrid technical and design costs, as well as the scope, size, quantity and location of distributed energy resources and electrical and equipment configurations. The second phase also will analyze steady state and transient voltage, the impact of any renewable or distributed generation, system protections, failure modes, optimization and microgrid controls.

Finally, the last two phases will focus on the microgrid’s business and commercial feasibility, along with a benefit and cost analysis.

Southampton prefers a team with a Long Island presence and experience working in the town and developing microgrid technology enabling platforms. It’s also looking for a team that  has developed infrastructure and power projects, and has experience in power engineering, commercial engineering, clean energy technology, transmission and distribution utility operations, and in working with regulators and project finance. And last, the ideal candidate will have a dedicated development platform focused on microgrids within New York.

The full solicitation is available through the town website.

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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, 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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