New York State Prize - Community Microgrid Competition (NY Prize)

The “NY Prize” competition is administered by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), to support New York State communities innovation in electricity grid planning and development. Microgrids are stand-alone energy systems that can separate from the larger electrical grid to operate independently in the event of a power outage. During extreme weather events or emergencies, microgrids can provide power to individual customers and critical public services such as hospitals, first responders, and water treatment facilities. By helping communities develop microgrids, the NY Prize program aims to make these communities more resilient and energy-secure in the event of power outages - while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The first stage of NY Prize in 2015 offered over $8 million in grants to fund 83 engineering feasibility studies across the state - in order for selected communities to conduct engineering assessments that evaluate the feasibility of installing and operating a community microgrid. Those studies evaluated issues like site constraints, commercial and financial feasibility, legal issues, environmental suitability and considerations, and other issues.

In Stage 2 of the competition, projects were funded for audit-grade engineering design and business planning. New York awarded $11 million in grants in Stage 2 of its the competition in 2017, which went to eleven teams to develop detailed engineering designs and business plans for microgrid projects in their area. Each winner will receive $1 million from NYSERDA.

NYSERDA anticipated issuing a Stage 3 Project Build-Out competitive RFP in 2019, with winners announced in late 2019. This final stage will award additional funding for actual construction of microgrids and post-operational monitoring.



Publication Date: 2015

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