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Preston Announces County to Participate in Micro-Grid Study

From Broome County:

Broome County Executive Debbie Preston teams up with the Office of Energy Development to announce that the County has been chosen by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to undergo a study to use Micro-Grid technology to keep the Emergency Services department up and running in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

“The recent history of flooding in our community makes us an ideal candidate for this technology,” says Broome County Executive Debbie Preston. “I welcome any and all studies that will help us get our message out to as many people as possible to help them in case of another disaster like the flooding in 2006 or 2011.”

The Micro-Grid would be a stand-alone, off the grid power provider, generator and distributor that would power the Broome County Public Safety Facility at 153-157 Lt. VanWinkle Drive in the Town of Dickinson as well as SUNY Broome. It would provide 100 percent power to those facilities during a disaster.

“If the results of this study are positive, the Micro-Grid could also have a long lasting impact on energy consumption at the Public Safety facility,” says Margaret Scarinzi, Director of the Office of Energy Development. “It could help reduce energy costs, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions there.”

SUNY Broome would also be powered by the Micro-Grid during a disaster, making it an idea spot for a Red Cross or Emergency Shelter.

“Being able to stay in constant contact with residents and get any and all pertinent information to them as quickly as possible is key in any disaster,” says Emergency Service Coordinator Brett Chellis. “This technology would allow us to keep people updated even if the entire area were to lose power and ensure Emergency Services remains open at all times.”

This is only a feasibility study and would not provide any funding for the installation of the Micro-Grid.

It is being done in partnership with NYSERDA, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

A consultant from NYSERDA would conduct the study. Areas of the study include economic benefits, regulatory oversight, reliability and connecting/disconnecting from the grid.

The study is due in April of 2014 and is free to the County.
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