Two Business Council members, National Grid and Clarkson University, are partnering to design an underground electric microgrid in Potsdam, NY. In an emergency, the microgrid will operate as an electrical island independent of the main power grid, and serve the critical loads with local generation. It will use existing natural gas, fuel oil, and hydroelectric generation, as well as a planned two megawatt photovoltaic installation.
When completed, the microgrid design will be the first of its kind, providing resilient electric power service for essential community services during an emergency, and optimizing operating efficiencies under normal conditions. The Potsdam microgrid will serve as a model for other installations around New York and across the United States.
The project, made possible through a $381,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), was recently announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Other partners in the initiative include GE Energy Consulting, Nova Energy Specialists, the Village of Potsdam, SUNY Potsdam, and the Canton-Potsdam Hospital.