Burns Receives Six N.Y. Prize Awards For Microgrids

Burns, directly and as part of teams, was recently awarded six New York Prize microgrid feasibility assessments, including four projects for Long Island coastal communities severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy and other extreme weather events. Microgrids are local energy networks that are able to separate from the larger electrical grid during extreme weather events or emergencies, providing power to individual customers and crucial public services such as hospitals, first responders, and water treatment facilities.

Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the N.Y. Prize program, is a first-in-the-nation competition to help communities create microgrids. The program provides $100,000 to winners of Phase 1 projects to assess the technical, economic, commercial and regulatory feasibility of microgrids that significantly enhance energy resilience. In Phase 2, scheduled to begin in 2016, winners will receive $1 million to conduct detailed engineering and design of proposed microgrids. Finally, communities that have completed Phases 1 and 2 will compete for grants ranging from $5 to 7 million to offset the cost of constructing the microgrid.

The N.Y. Prize projects Burns is involved with include the Village of Port Jefferson, Village of Greenport, Town of Southampton, the cities of Long Beach and Oswego, and Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn which includes the Office of Mental Health, SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Kings County Hospital.

The Village of Port Jefferson, located on the north shore of Long Island, has experienced widespread and extended power outages as a result of extreme weather events, including Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. The proposed microgrid would incorporate a mix of existing and new combined heat and power, solar, and energy storage. It would provide electric and thermal energy to selected critical facilities during both normal operating conditions and during disruptions to the main or local grids, including St. Charles Hospital and Mather Hospital, Mary Haven Center of Hope, Port Jefferson School District, Suffolk County Wastewater Treatment Plan, Bridgeport-Port Jefferson ferry, the fire station, and village hall. (Partners: D&B Engineers and Architects, Burns Engineering, GE Energy Consulting, and Global Common LLC.)

The Village of Greenport is located on the east end of the north fork of Long Island, with a municipal electric utility that serves about 2,000 customers, and has its own oil-fired 6.8 MW power plant. Greenport lost power during Hurricane Irene, had substantial outages after Hurricane Sandy, and has had periodic non-storm related outages. Greenport’s proposed microgrid would include a new liquefied natural gas-fueled generator and a combination of existing and proposed wind, solar, and energy storage resources that would provide power to Eastern Long Island Hospital, a regional wastewater treatment plant, and a fire department station. (Partners: Village of Greenport and Global Common, LLC, which is supported by GE Energy Consulting, Burns Group, Inc., and D&B Engineers and Architects, Inc.)

The Town of Southampton has suffered significant power outages from storms in the last several years, including being out of power for up to seven days during Hurricane Sandy. The town will explore a mix of power generation sources with emphasis on renewables. For existing power generation infrastructure, existing natural gas supplies at partner locations, such as Southampton Hospital, provide potential for combined heat and power. The proposed microgrid would provide power to the town hall, police station, three fire stations, village hall, library, emergency medical facility, hospital complex, the department of public works complex, three school complexes, and a wastewater treatment plant. (Partners: Town of Southampton, Village of Southampton, Southampton Hospital, Rogers Memorial Library, the Southampton School District, Suffolk County, and PSEG Long Island.)

Three hospitals provide medical and mental health services to the community within 11 city blocks of Clarkson Avenue in Brooklyn: the New York State Office of Mental Health (Kingsboro Psychiatric Center), State University of New York (Downstate Medical Center), and Kings County Hospital Center. As providers of critical care and places of refuge during emergencies that impact the local community, a resilient and reliable energy infrastructure is required for these facilities. These three organizations propose a microgrid that would make use of combined heat and power and renewable sources, energy storage, and advanced transmission and distribution technologies. The proposed microgrid would supply power and possible heating to the hospitals. The study will also consider the possible inclusion of Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center and the George Wingate High School. (Partners: New York State Office of Mental Health, State University of New York, and Kings County Hospital Center.)

Microgrids benefit communities by lowering costs, encouraging clean energy, and building reliability and resiliency into the grid. Burns is pleased to partner with each of these N.Y. Prize award winners and is looking forward to developing innovative microgrids and resilient energy infrastructure.

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