The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has an additional $30 million it can award in its third round of Connecticut's Microgrid Program, with the window for applications opening December 10 and an information session scheduled for next Friday, November 20. The Microgrid Program was established to minimize the impact of widespread electric grid outages on critical facilities and infrastructure. The program was prompted by widespread power outages for extended periods of time in the state that had been caused by severe weather events. In two prior rounds, more than $23 million in grants was awarded to a total of 11 projects. The third round will be the largest to date.
In this third round, DEEP can award up to $30 million in bond funding for the development and implementation of microgrid projects to cover eligible design, engineering and infrastructure costs. An eligible project must be capable of (1) interconnecting critical facilities (a minimum of two physically separate facilities) with distributed energy resources, and (2) operating for at least 15 years. Of the $30 million in funding available during round three, $20 million is set aside for projects for municipalities that have no access to natural gas distribution or would otherwise be unable to pay for an eligible microgrid project.
A single qualifying project may receive a capital grant of up to $3 million, and, if the microgrid is located in an area that meets certain USDA Rural Community Energy Assistance Program eligibility requirements, the applicant may qualify for up to an additional $2 million capital grant from the Microgrid Program. DEEP will fund eligible expenses of up to $7,000 per kW. Any eligible expenses beyond that maximum must be funded using matching funds provided by the applicant or a third-party institution.
DEEP will begin accepting applications on a rolling basis on December 10.
An information session will be held in the Gina McCarthy Auditorium at DEEP's Hartford office, 79 Elm St., Hartford, CT, next Friday, November 20, at 10:30 a.m. Those interested in attending should RSVP to DEEP by Thursday, November 19, at noon at DEEP.EnergyBureau@ct.gov.
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Consider whether the microgrid funding that is available through this third round presents opportunities for your town or company. If so, we encourage you to attend next week's information session and invite you to contact any of the attorneys listed in the sidebar if you need additional information or have questions.