A report from Vermont-based nonprofit Clean Energy Group says states are making progress in deploying resilient power technologies – mostly relying on distributed generation sources, such as photovoltaics – that can keep the power on at critical facilities during grid outages caused by extreme weather events, such as Hurricane Sandy.
The report profiles the leading state programs and makes recommendations for what other states can do to support the deployment of resilient power systems. New resilient power technologies, such as solar PV combined with energy storage, can provide electricity during outages as well as valuable grid services year-round, the report says. Clean Energy Group says the report is intended to help states establish new policies and support new markets to advance clean, resilient power nationwide.
Key findings of the report concerning state resilient power efforts include the following:
- In the two-and-a-half years since Hurricane Sandy, some $400 million in new state-managed funds have been dedicated to resilient power efforts in the Northeast alone, leveraging hundreds of millions more in private funds;
- More than 90 critical facilities in the Northeast – including emergency shelters, wastewater treatment plants, firehouses and other first-responder facilities – will have resilient electrical systems in place to improve emergency response in the next year and to protect neighborhoods in the next power outage;
- States first addressed resilient power through heavily subsidized demonstration projects but have quickly evolved toward more permanent, cost-effective and market-oriented solutions that provide financing and leverage emerging energy services markets;
- Resilient power has proved that it not only provides clean backup power during grid outages, but that it can also reduce costs and provide additional income streams to the host facility or owner year-round; and
- Natural disasters are not confined to the Northeast, and resilient power is a concept that is quickly taking hold throughout the country.
‘Superstorm Sandy left the East Coast in devastation,’ says Lew Milford, president of Clean Energy Group. ‘Most cities and towns were woefully unprepared, and disadvantaged populations -Â the elderly, disabled and low-income – suffered the most from long-term power outages. The recent development of impressive and groundbreaking state resilient-power programs and initiatives are the rare positive outcomes of a natural disaster. Policymakers across the country have much to learn from these early efforts.’
For more information and a copy of the report, click here.