OLR Report 2016-R-0068 provides an overview of microgrids, acts affecting microgrids, and microgrid grant and loan programs.
A “microgrid” generally refers to a small-scale electric distribution network that links several users to one or more nearby distributed energy resources. It can be operated in conjunction with or independently from a larger electrical grid. Microgrids use energy from local connected sources, which can include renewable sources, fuel cells, batteries, or fossil fuels.
Public acts regarding microgrids have been passed in the last several years largely in response to the widespread power outages caused by storms in 2011. To encourage the development of microgrids, legislation authorized pilot programs and provided funding by way of grants and loan programs to public and private entities.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was charged with establishing the programs and has spearheaded efforts to enlist critical facilities and promote its benefits. The goal is to provide critical facilities with reliable energy during times of electricity grid outages.
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