red hook community microgrid


As part of a statewide endeavor to modernize New York State’s electric grid, spurring innovation and community partnerships with utilities, local governments, and private sector, NYSERDA recently announced the award of a $100,000 grant through their NY Prize competition to fund a feasibility study for the development of a Red Hook Community MicroGrid (RH-CMG). See NY Prize webiste for a full list of project winners across New York State.

The NY Prize grant was awarded to the RH-CMG project team, consisting of Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6, Inc., the Red Hook New York Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committee, Smarter Grid Solutions, and IMG Rebel. Together, the RH-CMG team will assess improved power resiliency for critical facilities and operations that can sustain this South Brooklyn waterfront community both on a day-to-day basis, and in future emergency events by using clean distributed energy and innovative microgrid controls that are financed through pioneering infrastructural investments.

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. The RH-CMG proposal and the Red Hook community’s interest in the creation of a reliable and decentralized power system is an outcome of the Red Hook NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan and Brooklyn Community Board 6’s interest in expanding solar PV installations throughout the community district.

“The Red Hook NY Rising CRP Committee is thrilled to have been awarded this feasibility study,” says Gita Nandan, co-chair of the Red Hook NY Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committee, “To have Red Hook recognized as a good candidate for testing innovative resilient power solutions links to directly with the work our committee has been doing for the past several years, to help create a more resilient and low-carbon Red Hook.”

“This is big news for us,” said Craig Hammerman, Executive Director of Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6. “Building on our successful Solarize BrooklynCB6 campaign where we’re already leveraging bulk purchasing power to reduce the cost of installing solar, now we can work on fitting together all this distributed power generation into its own microgrid as a resiliency measure so our Red Hook community will be stronger and better able to withstand future disasters. Solar is a great sustainability measure, with wonderful resiliency potential too.”

The NY Prize Competition is administered by NYSERDA, with support from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, to support community grid planning and development. NY Prize offers support for feasibility studies, audit-grade engineering design and business planning, and project build-out and post-operational monitoring. Having qualified for the first phase feasibility study, the RH-CMG project team can compete next year for another grant at the audit-grade engineering design and business planning phase. NYSERDA expects to award a total of roughly 50 NY Prize grants for feasibility studies throughout New York State.

The RH-CMG project team includes Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6, Inc., which will be administering the grant and providing areawide municipal planning and outreach support; the Red Hook New York Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committee which was the driving force that developed the neighborhood resiliency plans with New York State and will be providing project management and community engagement support; Smarter Grid Solutions, a New York-based international engineering firm specializing in active network management grid technologies, and; IMG Rebel, a global full-service infrastructure advisory firm specializing in developing innovative financing solutions while improving the management and development of infrastructure worldwide.