International District Energy Association, Utility Dive
Photo: Montgomery County, MD
Like many states, Maryland has experienced more frequent and severe weather events, leading to an increase in grid interruptions, economic disruption and issues around life safety. Ice storms, derechos, severe thunderstorms and the occasional polar vortex, coupled with concerns around cyber security, terrorism and climate change have led public leaders in Maryland to advance microgrid deployment as a strategy to reduce emissions, strengthen resiliency and enhance sustainability.
Montgomery County, the most populous county in the state, is leading the way in microgrid deployment with innovative “microgrid as a service” projects for its Public Safety Headquarters and County Corrections Center. Supported in part by funding from the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), these microgrids are intended to improve the resiliency of government operations, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, upgrade existing aging electrical infrastructure without capital expenditure, and control energy costs.
Local, State and Utility Partnerships Enabling Microgrids
The mission of the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is to promote affordable, reliable and cleaner energy. MEA has long supported cost-effective distributed energy generation, including microgrids, through grant programs, incentives and advocacy to help achieve the mission while enhancing resiliency across the state. In 2014, the MEA launched its combined heat and power (CHP) grant program which has funded 44 grants to date representing over 63MW of new generation serving Maryland’s critical infrastructure facilities.