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Advanced Microgrid on Connecticut Campus Ensures Resilience, Energy Savings

(Credit: Citizens Energy)

A religious organization in New Britain, Connecticut, will install an advanced microgrid which will serve four facilities on campus; the microgrid will ensure more reliable and efficient power and improve resilience for the facilities by enabling uninterrupted electric services to the buildings during emergencies.

The microgrid will allow Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception facilities to separate from the electric grid and continue to operate at, or near, normal capacity for extended periods during power outages. Daughters of Mary is working with Boston-based non-profit energy company Citizens Energy Corporation, which will develop, finance, own, operate, and maintain the system. It is the company’s first microgrid project, but it “fits remarkably well with our mission to provide much-needed energy assistance to low-income families and those in need,” says CEO Pete Smith.

Daughters of Mary will get the microgrid with no upfront or operating costs. Using an Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) model, Citizens Energy will fund and develop the microgrid, with separate power purchase agreements to help pay for the microgrid through lower cost, clean energy generation. The project was also awarded a State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Microgrid Design & Installation Grant for Critical Facilities that will help offset the overall project costs.

Building off previously constructed solar technology on the campus, the microgrid will produce approximately 545,000 kWh of additional solar energy each year. Combined with the 1.3-million-kilowatt-hours of lithium-ion battery energy storage, the on-site power generation is anticipated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,300 metric tons each year. The advanced microgrid will also include technologies to enable predictive management and optimization of energy usage. It is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2021.

Schneider Electric is working with Citizens Energy on designing, engineering, and implementing the solution.

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