New Rochelle First In Westchester To Apply For Microgrid Study

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – In an effort to continue utilizing green energy throughout the city, New Rochelle has become the first municipality in Westchester to be awarded funds for a feasibility analysis for a microgrid under the NY Prize initiative.

A microgrid could help lower energy costs for New Rochelle taxpayers.
A microgrid could help lower energy costs for New Rochelle taxpayers. Photo Credit: Contributed

Following a lengthy application process, the city has received the go-ahead from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to determine whether a microgrid makes sense for the city.

According to the NYSERDA, microgrids are “local energy networks that are able to separate from the larger electrical grid during extreme weather events or emergencies, providing power to individual customers and crucial public services such as hospitals, first responders and water treatment facilities.”

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson noted that the city would be working closely with experts at the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, local colleges, businesses, Montefiore Medical Center, master developers RDRXR and other community partners during the study.

“With funding for the feasibility analysis in hand, Booz Allen Hamilton can now conduct a more in-depth six-month study that will culminate with a new application for an engineering grant,” he added. “Then, if we get past stage two, we will apply for implementation assistance.”

During the six-month feasibility study, officials will attempt to “identify good projects and partnerships that are a natural fit in New Rochelle.” They will determine the community’s needs and what technologies are available while asking local residents for input along the way.

With “100-year storms” becoming a seemingly annual occurrence, the installation of a microgrid in the city would increase resilience against outages, enhance the reliability of the local energy system, lower energy costs to taxpayers, encourage economic development and reduce pollution.

Although New Rochelle is the first local community to apply to the NY Prize, Bramson warned that there’s still a long road before they even potentially reach the second phase of the competition.

“The NY Prize is very competitive, and only a handful of communities in the state will make it to the finish line,” he stated. “But I’m excited about our prospects. New Rochelle’s unique combination of existing facilities and ambitious new development make us a potential model for sustainable, resilient energy management.” 

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