Expanding Microgrid and Resiliency Hub Opportunities for Maryland – MEA Announces Round 2 Recipients of its Award-winning Resilient Maryland Grant Program
Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is pleased to announce that three awardees have been selected from the second round of its FY22 Resilient Maryland Planning Program, a national recognized program recently receiving a 2022 State Leadership in Clean Energy (SLICE) Award by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA). These recipients will use their combined total of $359,065 Strategic Energy Investment Fund (SEIF) awards to conduct critical feasibility analyses and other preconstruction activities to identify options for microgrids that will provide clean, resilient, affordable power to their facilities and critical operations. They join six Round 1 FY22 Resilient Maryland awardees in these endeavors, representing nearly $830,000 in State investment for the identification of viable microgrids and resiliency hubs that are based on clean technologies that help bolster reliability and affordability.
Completing preconstruction technical and economic analysis on energy capital improvement projects like microgrids and resiliency hubs are most often costly endeavors for many organizations and help stakeholders and decision makers secure the buy-in to advance projects from concept to reality.
MEA launched Resilient Maryland in 2020 to help mitigate this funding gap so more projects could be identified, mobilized, and brought closer to shovel-ready. So far, the program has identified 30 potential microgrid and resiliency hub projects across Maryland, which include many sectors of our State’s economy. These projects, if implemented, will benefit Communities, critical infrastructure, businesses, multifamily housing, higher learning institutions, agriculture, food supply chains, and other organizations while providing scalable models for similar projects.
Each project is highlighted below, and an award list with more detailed information can be found here.
Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is a nationally-accredited four-year university located in Bowie, MD that offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees. BSU is one of Maryland’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and is the oldest Historically Black Institution in the State. BSU will use its Resilient Maryland planning funds to conduct a feasibility analysis and preconstruction planning for a microgrid to serve critical university facilities and services and to meet sustainability goals set out in its 2020 – 2030 Facilities Master Plan and Climate Action Plan.
Groundswell is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on clean energy system development and bringing the benefits of these systems to help reduce the amount of monthly income individuals and families spend on energy costs (known as “energy burden”). The nonprofit provides comprehensive enrollment and support programs for energy customers, is a leader on pioneering research and demonstration projects, and focuses on its stated mission of “building community power.” Groundswell will partner with Montgomery County and use its Resilient Maryland funds to conduct a countywide analysis of up to 20 locations that can serve as resiliency hubs for their surrounding communities, where individuals can receive power for essential devices and remain in safe, conditioned space during power outage situations.
City of Cumberland
The City of Cumberland is the County Seat of Allegany County with a population of over 19,000 residents. It is located along the Potomac River and is part of the Interstate 68 Corridor. Because of that, it’s considered a regional business and commercial center for Western Maryland. The City will use its Resilient Maryland funds to conduct a feasibility analysis and complete preconstruction activities for at least one community microgrid to bolster the resilience of its wastewater system and critical emergency services. Access to potable water and services critical to the preservation of life and safety during power outage and disaster situations is vital to ensure the well being of Marylanders in the face of these events.
MEA congratulates the Round 2 Resilient Maryland award winners and looks forward to working with them as they complete their projects. To learn more about this award-winning program, please visit MEA’s website at www.energy.maryland.gov.