The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) has announced $566,000 in awards for eight organizations that will fund feasibility analysis, planning and design of microgrids bringing resilience and sustainability to Maryland communities, critical infrastructure, essential businesses and emergency services.
One of the eight recipients was the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore. “The Mayor and City Council of Baltimore will use its $100,000 award to conduct feasibility analysis, planning, and design of a campus microgrid to serve its downtown municipal campus consisting of 14 city buildings that provide essential city services core to functionality of government and society, such as but not limited to: key emergency services, police, and fire services. Microgrid components considered will be combined heat and power (CHP), numerous solar PV systems cited on individual buildings operating under a universal power purchase agreement (PPA), electric vehicle charging, and battery energy storage” (MEA).
Funding for these projects comes via MEA’s Resilient Maryland program, an innovative approach to support community, campus and building-scale microgrids, advanced combined heat and power systems, resiliency hubs and other distributed energy resource (DER) projects. Funding for this grant is made possible via the Strategic Energy Investment Fund, which MEA administers.
“Maryland continues to lead by example, providing funding to help Maryland communities and organizations address energy resiliency through the use of cleaner and renewable energy options,” said Governor Larry Hogan.
According to Solar Power World:
Updating the old utility grid infrastructure can be costly; and one of the most practical ways is for organizations to install DERs that enhance operational efficiency, generate power onsite and allow for more energy management control. New systems often have the added benefit of adding resilience to the grid itself, improving the integrity of the state’s energy landscape. However, gaining the support of organizational decision makers to approve these projects and attracting capital to finance these solutions remains the biggest challenge in transitioning from concept to actionable project. This is due to the significant costs associated with conducting the necessary analysis to produce critical proof-of-concept plans.
The Resilient Maryland program addresses this challenge by helping to satisfy those costs and move projects forward. Grants are provided to help organizations pay for planning deliverables such as detailed project feasibility analyses, preliminary engineering models and designs, financial analyses, greenhouse gas reduction projections and the identification and analyses of logistical and regulatory hurdles.