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Designing new models of energy distribution: Hunts Point Community Microgrid, New York City

The Hunts Point Microgrid Project is an initiative of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency (ORR), designed to protect important citywide infrastructure during emergencies that threaten energy distribution and to address critical vulnerabilities for both community and industry. The project integrates energy technologies that minimize power disruption in times of extreme weather in an area that serves as a major food-supply hub located in the Bronx, New York City. Hunts Point was identified as a priority area for climate resilience initiatives after Hurricane Sandy, as the potential impacts of the storm exposed the importance and vulnerability of the food systems infrastructure in the region. The project studied the feasibility of a district cogeneration facility to provide electricity, steam, and refrigeration to local food markets, nearby businesses, and the residential community facilities in the area. In addition to its vulnerability to climate impacts, the Bronx has socioeconomically vulnerable residents - the average household income in the borough is 40% lower than the city average and 34% lower than the national average. The South Bronx, where Hunts Point is located, is 57.1% Hispanic and 39.8% Black. The South Bronx neighborhood is also home to a major wholesale food cooperative located at the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, as well as 12,300 residents and one of the City’s larger wastewater treatment plants.

Related Organizations: New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York City Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Hawaii Microgrid Tariff

Hawaii is the first state to begin a utility commission proceeding to create a tariff to pay microgrid owners and streamline the interconnection processes. The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission opened a docket and proceeding to “Investigate Establishment of a Microgrid Services Tariff” in response to the passage of Act 200, which directed the Public Utilities Commission to study the establishment of the potential tariff. The Act was passed after extreme weather and volcanic activity on Hawaii Island threatened to cut off several communities or make access extremely difficult. The Act acknowledges that Hawaii is more vulnerable than other states to disruptions in its energy systems due to extreme weather events, and notes that microgrid solutions could provide community-scale power on an emergency basis without connection to the island-wide grid. A microgrid tariff would allow for easier development of customer-sited, islandable systems. Hawaii has existing microgrids on several of its islands that are already helping to make the state’s electric grid more resilient and reliable.  In the wake of Kilauea’s recent eruptions on the island of Hawaii – where transmission lines and distribution equipment have been destroyed by lava – Hawaii Electric Light (HELCo) has also started planning a small microgrid to serve isolated communities and vacation areas threatened by lava encroaching on residential subdivisions.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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North Carolina 2020 Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan

June 2, 2020

The North Carolina Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan is the state’s first climate change adaptation plan. It includes the results of vulnerability assessments within 11 critical sectors, climate justice concerns and strategies, and recommendations for nature-based solutions to enhance ecosystem resiliency and sequester carbon in the state’s natural and working lands. North Carolina Governor Cooper’s 2018 Executive Order 80 directed state agencies to integrate climate adaptation and resiliency planning into their policies, programs, and operations; and mandated that the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) lead the development of this climate risk assessment and resiliency plan for the state.

Related Organizations: State of North Carolina

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Level Up Audio Project

May 27, 2020

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IX partnered with the Georgetown Climate Center to present the Level Up Audio Project to support local conversations about hazard risk and resilience, empower communities to advance resilience, strengthen a network of hazard mitigation and climate adaptation professionals, and inspire action. Level Up’s episodes discuss themes including climate change; equity, environmental justice, and social resilience; hazard mitigation; ecosystems and natural resilience; and more.

Related Organizations: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Georgetown Climate Center

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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HUD Community Resilience Toolkit

2020

The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Resilience Toolkit offers descriptions of natural hazard risks and ideas for adaptation actions that communities can take to increase their resilience to climate change. State and local governments receiving HUD Community Planning and Development (CPD) funds can use this guide to identify types of adaptation actions that are eligible for CPD funding. Specific attention is drawn to the risks to vulnerable populations as well as adaptation actions that prioritize low- and moderate-income communities.

Related Organizations: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New York City COVID-19 Heat Wave Plan

May 15, 2020

In May of 2020, New York City (NYC)’s Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a COVID-19 Heat Wave Plan to keep vulnerable New Yorkers cool at home, create safer summer cooling options, and anticipate and reduce power outages. The plan addresses the higher risk for indoor summer heat exposure that vulnerable residents face while simultaneously trying to maintain social distancing in the context of a global pandemic. The $55 million plan directs the City to install 74,000 air conditioning units in the homes of residents who are 60 years of age or older, retrofit new spaces for emergency cooling centers, and better prepare for power outages. The plan lessens risk for vulnerable NYC residents of heat-related illnesses and death, as well as COVID exposure or infection. NYC recognizes the intrinsic connection with climate change, social equity, and COVID-19 recovery, and is committed to protecting the most vulnerable from climate impacts like extreme heat.   

 

Related Organizations: City of New York, New York, New York City Housing Authority, New York State Public Service Commission

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Floodplains by Design

Floodplains by Design (FbD) is a private-public partnership led by The Nature Conservancy, the State of Washington Department of Ecology, and the Puget Sound Partnership aimed at reducing flood risk and restoring habitat - for salmon recovery and other needs - to Washington state’s major river corridors. Floodplains by Design works to help communities collaborate across entire watersheds to adapt to increasing flood events and benefit the natural environment simultaneously. FbD coordinates state and federal funding for local solutions, facilitates integrated floodplain management, and supports large-scale, multiple-benefit projects that protect, restore, and improve the resiliency of floodplains across the state.

Related Organizations: The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Washington State Department of Ecology, Puget Sound Partnership

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Virginia SB 320 Community Flood Preparedness Fund

April 22, 2020

In 2020, Virginia created the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund (Virginia Code §§ 10. 1-603. 24 and 10. 1-603. 25). Through this law, the state established a low-interest revolving loan fund to help local governments and communities adapt to increasing coastal and inland flooding from multiple, different sources, including sea-level rise and precipitation. The purpose of the fund is to enhance the state’s overall coastal resilience by funding flood prevention and mitigation projects, prioritizing projects in low-income areas and that are designed with nature-based solutions.

Related Organizations: State of Virginia

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Conservation Lands Network Explorer Tool - San Francisco Bay Area, California

The Conservation Lands Network Explorer Tool is an online decision support tool to explore the conservation and biodiversity values of areas within the nine counties that make up California’s San Francisco Bay Area. The Explorer is an interactive map that allows users to visualize various conservation- and climate-related spatial data. The tool was designed to be accessible to all users, no matter GIS skill level. The information provided can help inform land conservation and adaptation strategies.

Related Organizations: Bay Area Open Space Council

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Dallas Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan

April 2020

The Dallas Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) is a roadmap developed by the city and community stakeholders that outlines steps the city can take to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while enhancing the city’s climate resilience. The plan provides an overview of the environmental and climate challenges that the city faces, recommends actions to improve the environmental quality of the city, build resilience, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and identifies funding and partnership opportunities to support plan implementation.

Related Organizations: City of Dallas, Texas

Resource Category: Planning

 

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