Micro-Grid: Overview

Goal: Implement a successful micro-grid project in Springfield by 2020.

 

Like so many of the actions and strategies identified throughout this planning process and reinforced by the work groups, success with a micro-grid will require leadership from the City. There is a well-established process in place right now in Massachusetts, and funding is available both from the MA Clean Energy Center and from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), but still a successful initiative requires “cheer-leading” by the City.

 

STRATEGIES

 

  1. Create a Springfield micro-grid work group to advance this initiative, with members agreeing to implement the following detailed action plan:
    • Meet with Eversource and ISO New England to understand grid connection issues, etc.
    • Research what other similarly-sized cities are doing and possibly have site visits and exchange information; possible examples include: Codman Square CDC project in Dorchester and the fuel-cell micro-grid in Woodbridge CT.
    • Research CEC and DOER and other funding and apply for feasibility study grants in May/June 2017.
    • Investigate battery storage for micro-grid and emergency back-up power, especially for nursing homes and grocery stores in vulnerable neighborhoods.
    • Engage UMASS researchers as appropriate.
    • Engage the largest property owners/energy users, i.e. MassMutual (on work group), BayState Hospital, MGM, Picknelly, Mass Visitors & Convention Bureau, and Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.
    • Focus on Downtown/Metro Center and integrate electric vehicle car charging stations.
    • Research the level of retro-fitting necessary in existing buildings in order to connect to micro-grid.
    • Research a regulatory option of requiring new developments to be “micro-grid ready”.
  2. Oversee a feasibility study.
  3. Launch the project by 2019 for completion in 2020.