The Grid Deployment Office released $3.46 billion in the first wave of funding from its Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership (GRIP) program. Among the recipients in this round are several projects that include microgrids.
Funding was released on three tracts – Grid Resilience Utility and Industry, Smart Grid, and Grid Innovation Program. Here’s a roundup of the most notable microgrid projects that will come about thanks to GRIP funding.
Grid Resilience Utility and Industry grants
Grants awarded in this tract will fund efforts to modernize the grid so that it’s more resilient to extreme weather and natural disasters.
Wildfire mitigation and extreme weather resilience for Xcel Energy
Recipient: Xcel Energy, Minneapolis, Minnesota
GRIP Funding Received: $100 million Recipient Cost Share: $1.42 million
Xcel will use a portion of the funds to restart The Resilient Minneapolis Project, a microgrid project the utility put on hold earlier this year because of concerns over increasing costs. The solar and battery microgrids will be installed at the Minneapolis American Indian Center and the Sabathani Community Center, as well as at sites that serve as neighborhood resiliency hubs.
Funds will also be used to finance wildfire risk mitigation projects in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. This includes the development of an electric schoolbus-to-building demonstration project that aims to maintain power during power disruptions caused by wildfires.
EPB Chattanooga grid resiliency upgrades: network conversions and microgrids
Recipient: Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee
GRIP Funding Received: $32.38 million Recipient Cost Share: $32.38 million
The Electric Power Board (EBP) of Chattanooga will use the funds to deploy six microgrids that will improve reliability and resiliency in remote areas near the edge of the utility’s service area. The EBP will also underground 268 circuits to reduce the number and duration of outages. According to the project’s GRIP fact sheet, it’s expected that these efforts will reduce the utility’s carbon emissions by at least 12 metric tons.
Jamestown Community Microgrid
Recipient: Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, Jamestown, New York
GRIP Funding Received: $17.37 million Recipient Cost Share: $5.79 million
The Jamestown Community Microgrid will serve the downtown Jamestown area, providing resilience to a regional hospital and other emergency services, schools, senior and assisted living housing facilities, a homeless shelter, numerous small businesses, electric vehicle charging stations and more.
Smart Grid grants
Winning projects in this category will increase the flexibility, efficiency and reliability of the grid, as well as demonstrate how smart grid technologies can achieve wider market adoption.
Deploying adaptive networked microgrids to improve grid flexibility and reliability
Recipient: DTE Electric, Detroit, Michigan
GRIP Funding Received: $22.94 million Recipient Cost Share: $22.94 million
DTE will use the funds to develop a 100% renewable adaptive networked microgrid (ANM), a flexible system that enables more renewables to be incorporated into the grid. ANMs improve reliability because they can adapt to energy supply and demand conditions in real time. It is expected that customers within the microgrid area will see outages decrease by 50%-80%.
Grid Innovation Program grants
Projects funded in this tract include transmission projects, interconnection of clean energy generation and those that use distributed grid assets to improve resilience.
Regional grid improvements to address reliability in Georgia
Recipient: Georgia Environmental Finance Authority
GRIP Funding Received: $249.13 million Recipient Cost Share: $258.01 million
The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, Oglethorpe Power, Georgia Transmission and Georgia System Operations will invest in local microgrids, battery storage and other efforts to improve grid reliability for more than 4.4 million rural customers. Funds will also be used to improve resilience through the installation of new transmission lines that will connect communities and advanced grid control systems.
“As the energy landscape continues to evolve and our reliance on electricity increases, Georgia Transmission will use the funding provided by this grant to increase reliability and resiliency through advanced microgrid technology and infrastructure upgrades,” said Barbara Hampton, president and CEO of Georgia Transmission.
Line hardening and battery microgrid
Recipient: Entergy New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana
GRIP Funding Received: $54.83 million Recipient Cost Share: $52.83 million
Entergy New Orleans will build an energy storage microgrid, as well as invest in hardening the transmission system and distribution lines. It’s expected that the efforts will avoid more than 600 million minutes of service interruptions, improve resilience during extreme weather events, and reduce energy costs for disadvantaged communities.
“This federal funding will allow Entergy to strengthen our grid infrastructure in the face of increasingly stronger storms, while adding critical solar backup storage power,” said LaToya Cantrell, mayor of New Orleans.
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