Feasibility Assessment for a Microgrid Serving Three Adjacent Healthcare Campuses in Brooklyn, NY

The New York State Research and Development Authority awarded 83 communities $100,000 each for microgrid feasibility studies under the first round of funding in their three-stage NY Prize Initiative.

The awardees from this first round can vie for additional funding in the next two NY Prize stages. Projects that win Stage 2 funding will receive $1M for design and Stage 3 winners will win $7M toward construction.

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) was one of the funding awardees under the NY Prize Microgrid initiative. Burns led the Phase 1 microgrid feasibility study for three adjacent healthcare campus facilities operated by The New York State OMH, State University of New York (SUNY), and the Kings County Hospital Center, located in Brooklyn, NY.

This major healthcare cluster has 1500 beds, serves almost 1 million patients per year and accepts approximately 4000 emergency room visits per week. It is located in a constrained area of the Con Edison distribution grid and has the potential to serve as evacuation centers for the surrounding 80,000 residents in the heart of the New York City Opportunity Zone who were directly affected by Superstorm Sandy. These neighborhoods are acutely aware of the value of resiliency and distributed energy resources. OMH’s plan would combine energy efficiency measures, cogeneration, renewable energy coupled with energy storage and smart grid technology to provide independent power to these critical facilities.

The overall goal of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of building and operating a community microgrid for the purpose of maintaining electric services for participating customers/facilities and the community at large at times during prolonged grid interruptions.

To facilitate the assessment, two years of utility information obtained from each participating site was reviewed and analyzed. A preliminary design integrating distributed energy resources was developed in part using Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s microgrid optimization tool, DER-CAM (Distributed Energy Resources – Customer Adoption Model). Due to unique challenges designing and installing electric distribution systems in a dense urban environment, Burns anticipates utilizing directional drilling to route conduit interconnecting batteries, fuel cells, solar PV and dual fuel emergency generation to create a 17 MW microgrid to serve this collection of critical health care facilities.

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Location: Brooklyn, NY
Smart Infrastructure
Client: New York Power Authority, New York State Office of Mental Health

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