GE Energy Consulting along with its subcontractor and partner Nexant, has started work on a microgrid feasibility and evaluation study for the town of Bedford in Massachusetts, USA. The study, which is funded through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Centre (MassCEC) Clean Energy and Resiliency programme, will analyse the economic and financial impacts of a microgrid project and develop a high-level system design needed to create resilient town facilities, providing protection to vulnerable populations from major power outage events.
Initial discussions have been around incorporating a microgrid to support various municipal services such as police and fire services and schools.
The study is part of a second round of projects awarded through the CLEAR programme to GE Energy Consulting, which was originally awarded two projects in September 2020 by MassCEC. The goal of the projects is to provide least-cost microgrid solutions to communities throughout the state in order to reduce economic losses from major power outage events, lower services interruption time for utility customers, and provide a replicable pathway for customers to assist utilities in outage recovery events.
The CLEAR programme is intended to aid communities in identifying and pursuing specific investment plans that will enable critical loads to ride through interruptions in grid service. Funding through the CLEAR program will advance first-stage system designs for nine community sites. Additionally, it will support the development of a toolkit which will provide a guide for all those state communities seeking to become more resilient, as well as a resiliency certification, to strengthen collaboration between utilities and communities so that resilient systems can be fully utilised during major events and grid disturbances, as can occur for example during the most extreme stormy weather.