Microgrids for Maine: Part of an energy solution

Posted:  Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 8:15am

On Thursday, Nov. 16, from 2-4 p.m., Paul Kando will offer a two hour free public presentation and discussion at Friends Meeting House, 77 Belvedere Rd. in Damariscotta that will explore the subject of islandable microgrids and their potential for Maine.

Destructive hurricanes no longer land exclusively in tropical climes. Sandy came ashore with full force as far north as New York City, causing major disruptions, flooded transit tunnels, and billions of dollars' worth of damage. Ocean surface waters are warming at an alarming rate, powering storms farther and farther north with each passing year. The recent storm that caused statewide power outages and left areas of Maine without power for more than a week demonstrate the necessity for making our power grid more resilient and less vulnerable.

New York state and Japan are now installing multiple microgrids that can isolate themselves from a disrupted transmission grid, and continue to provide uninterrupted power. The Gulf of Maine (shown by scientists to be the fastest-warming area of the planet's seas) has warmed almost 5ºF over the last three decades and continues warming at the rate of 1.44ºF per decade. How long until Maine gets the full brunt of a landfall by a major hurricane? The more microgrids, the more secure and resilient the power grid becomes.

The presentation will answer the following questions: What are microgrids? How do they work? How do they protect the power grid? What other benefits do they offer? What barriers are in the way of installing microgrids in Maine and what are we doing about them? How can individual homeowners participate?

This event is sponsored by Coastal Senior College.