US awards $8m to improve local energy grids

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has granted more than $8 million (£5m) for microgrid projects to help communities better prepare themselves for extreme weather events and potential electricity disruptions. […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has granted more than $8 million (£5m) for microgrid projects to help communities better prepare themselves for extreme weather events and potential electricity disruptions.

A microgrid is a local energy grid with control capability, which means it can disconnect from the traditional grid and operate autonomously. It can be powered by distributed generators, batteries and renewable sources like solar panels.

The seven winning projects will advance controllers and system designs for microgrids less than 10MW in capacity in Alaska, California, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee and Washington.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said: “Building in grid resiliency has gained greater urgency in recent years as demonstrated by the economic and personal losses from electricity outages due to severe weather.”