Feds to fund $8 million in microgrid projects

The Energy Department said Monday that it is giving $8 million to seven projects aimed at developing microgrids in order to improve the resiliency of electrical grids.

The grants, which total about $1.2 million for each project, will largely fund research into microgrid control systems, which allow small areas to shut their electrical systems off from their surroundings to mitigate the effects of extreme weather, power disruptions or other instances.

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“Building in grid resiliency has gained greater urgency in recent years, as demonstrated by the economic and personal losses from electricity outages due to severe weather,” Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest MonizFederal task force recommends safety upgrades for gas storage Energy secretary: ‘We got it right’ on Iran deal Overnight Energy: Trump visits Flint | GOP chairman defends subpoenas in climate probe MORE said in a statement.

“Keeping the power on during extreme weather events and other electric grid disruptions is essential, particularly so that critical facilities such as hospitals and water treatment plants can continue operating,” he said.

Each company receiving a grant will pay between 20 percent and 50 percent of the project’s cost, the department said.

The recipients include Alstom Grid Inc., Burr Energy, Commonwealth Edison Co., Electric Power Research Institute, General Electric Co., TDX Power Inc. and the University of California Irvine.

The projects will be all over the country, including Philadelphia, California, New York and Alaska.