Public and Private Funding for City Microgrid

Overview

Centrica Business Solutions, Connecticut Green Bank, and several other organizations partnered to deliver a cogeneration system to the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut at no upfront cost to the city. The system features chilled and thermal water loops, controls systems, and underground piping for a microgrid to power key municipal buildings. The system also utilizes the engine heat loss to supply heating and cooling to critical facilities such as city hall, police headquarters, and Golden Hill Senior Center.

The state of Connecticut and the greater Northeast region of the United States frequently experience severe weather events that have caused extended power outages. To help ensure critical buildings remain powered during grid outages, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment (CT DEEP) established a Microgrid Program to support distributed energy generation projects throughout the state. CT DEEP awarded the City of Bridgeport a $2.9 million grant for its microgrid project, which was complemented by a $500,000 loan from the Connecticut Green Bank through its microgrid financing program. First Niagara Bank provided an additional $3.8 million loan to complete financing for the project.

Centrica Business Solutions, working with several other companies, installed the microgrid that is comprised of three key products:

  • 3 Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units. CHP is a highly efficient solution that captures the heat created through the electricity generation process, producing heat and power simultaneously.
  • 1 standby power generator set that provides a reliable backup source of energy to ensure Bridgeport’s facilities are operational during grid outages. The generator can also supply power at peak times to reduce grid demand and save on energy costs.
  • An electrical power network designed to provide continuous power during grid failure.

The installation team has estimated annual savings of approximately 85,554 MMBtu in energy, with an estimated 37,000 MMBtu coming from the CHP units.

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Sector:

Local Government, Financial Services

Barrier:

Financing or paying for a project

Tool type:

Financing

Technology:

Resilience, Combined Heat and Power System