Elisa Wood, Microgrid Knowledge
Northeastern University says it is developing a microgrid that sets the bar for higher education, using a self-funded approach to harden its campus resiliency while achieving sustainability goals.
Now in planning, the integrated microgrid will serve the university’s 73-acre campus in Boston, a city that experiences urban power congestion and coastal challenges.
The university began exploring options to improve its electric reliability two years ago after a prolonged power outage that affected its students.
“There was an event where the power supply, our electricity, went down for about a week. Our residence halls did lose power for a period of time,” said Maria Cimilluca, vice president for facilities, Northeastern University, a top 100 school in the US News & World Report rankings.
The university sees the microgrid as a means to not only ensure reliable power, but also to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions 80% by 2050 (and possibly reach complete carbon neutrality), a goal Northeastern set several years ago as a signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).