Diagram courtesy of Clean Coalition

New York is moving toward becoming one of the leading states in the nation in terms of microgrid installations.

Earlier this month Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that 83 communities in the state would each receive grants of about $100,000 to support microgrid projects.

The awards are part of the governor’s Reforming Energy Vision that aims to revamp the state’s energy regulatory structure and were administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

There is no official definition of a “microgrid,” but it is generally understood to be the opposite of the centrally located power plant model that has prevailed for nearly a century. Microgrids take advantage of new technologies to create a networked array of small energy sources and users made possible by digital technologies. Microgrids are seen as more resilient than central station power when natural disasters strike.

Eligible applicants for the awards include local governments, community organizations, non-profit entities and for-profit companies. Their proposed microgrids had to integrate into utility networks and serve multiple customers, including at least one critical infrastructure customer, such as a hospital, police station, fire station or water treatment facilities.