New UConn Microgrid to Provide Power in Storm-related Outages

By Colin Poitras, UConn Today

The University has receivemircogrid1d $2.14 million in state funding to create an independent microgrid energy system at its Depot Campus in Storrs.

UConn’s microgrid will be supported by an existing 400kW fuel cell and a demonstration-scale 6.6 kW photovoltaic solar panel array located adjacent to the Center for Clean Energy Engineering. The microgrid is expected to be operational by June 2014.

“This project will enhance UConn’s preparedness and ability to serve the community in storm-related emergencies,” said UConn President Susan Herbst. “It will also help UConn serve as a resource for others on how to create resilient, reliable, and environmentally sustainable microgrids. We’re grateful for the state’s support and look forward to sharing what we learn through this innovative project.”

UConn’s microgrid was one of nine projects receiving state funding totaling $18 million. The expenditure – recommended by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and approved by the General Assembly last year – will create the nation’s first statewide microgrid pilot program. The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection or DEEP will oversee the program.

“Microgrids play a major role in our efforts to modernize and harden our infrastructure to withstand severe weather,” Malloy said. “These projects will help protect residents and vital public services even when the power goes out, and in doing so allow us to provide critical services during times of emergency.utside the CeRich Miller, principal investigator for the project and UConn’s director of environmental policy, notes that over the past three years, Connecticut has experienced two 100-year storms, one 50-year storm, and a record-setting blizzard, each of which has resulted in extended grid power outages.”

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