Sen. Malcolm Smith Secures Inclusion of Microgrid Study in the State Budget

Malcolm A. Smith

March 26, 2013

(Albany, NY) - State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis), Chairman of the Independent Democratic Conference and Co-Chairman of the Hurricane Sandy Task Force, today secured a provision in the budget which calls on the New York State Energy Research And Development Authority to conduct a study and develop recommendations for the establishment of strong utility "microgrids" in New York.

Microgrids are distributed energy sources that can work in conjunction with, or independently of, the main energy grid. They have potential to enable facilities to maintain power during widespread outages. This approach to energy distribution will prove to be invaluable as the state seeks to better protect critical service providers such as hospitals, first responder headquarters and treatment plants, during times of crisis.

"During Superstorm Sandy, a number of critical facilities lost power, and some New Yorkers were left without electricity for weeks," Smith said. "Bellevue and Langone were forced to evacuate patients during the height of the storm. Microgrids have the potential to enable such facilities to maintain power during a widespread outage by creating a separate and distinct "Island" of power just for that facility. This is an important step forward in disaster preparedness."