The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced it will work with 12 competitively selected remote and island communities around the United States to help strengthen their energy infrastructure, reduce the risk of outages, and improve their future energy and economic outlook. Through the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP), DOE and its national and regional partners will support projects in communities that, due to their geographic isolation, often face high energy costs and vulnerable energy infrastructure due to their increased risk of natural disasters and climate change. ETIPP further supports the Biden-Administration's goal of ensuring an equitable transition to a carbon-pollution free future.
Some of the selected communities include:
Aquinnah and Chilmark, Massachusetts - The neighboring towns of Aquinnah and Chilmark on the island of Martha’s Vineyard will work together on technical assistance in three areas to help them achieve 100% renewable energy by 2040 with retrofits for municipal buildings, distributed energy resources, and microgrids. The project will help both towns identify suitable high-impact energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions to improve energy resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Microgrid of the Mountain, Puerto Rico - A hydroelectric cooperative in Puerto Rico will employ ETIPP assistance to refine its intermunicipal microgrid plan, and develop and design specifications for batteries, distribution, and other improvements. The project will also support the cooperative’s technical review data related to implementation of the new system. The project will help the cooperative deliver affordable, resilient energy for residents across four remote, inland mountain communities.
Mount Desert Island, Maine - Mount Desert Island’s goal for its technical assistance is understanding optimal approaches to transition its grid to clean energy while increasing energy resilience and community capacity. The project will assess opportunities for renewable energy integration, energy storage and efficiency, and the viability of a microgrid to make the island resilient during extreme weather events. Results from this project will support future decarbonization plans for the area.
University of Hawaii, Hawaii - The University of Hawaii’s project plans include analyzing the potential for geothermal cooling in buildings across its 10 campuses. The project will model shallow geologic conditions and building heating and cooling loads at each campus to recommend geothermal technologies, materials, and design approaches that improve energy efficiency and significantly increase sustainability across campus communities. Outcomes will include increased capacity for geothermal energy analysis at the University and opportunities to apply project results in similar environments.