North Hempstead was recently awarded a NY Prize Stage 1 grant to fund a feasibility study to install microgrids, or small-scale power grids, that can operate independently or in conjunction with the area’s main electrical grid. The microgrid would be located in downtown Port Washington, which is a part of the NY Prize Opportunity Zone. The feasibility study will evaluate opportunities to link critical infrastructure and community assets in Port Washington together to form the grid, which will provide an added layer of security during emergencies.
“Receiving this grant is such an important step in continuing to make North Hempstead both safer and more resilient in an emergency,” said Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “It will give our residents a sense of security, knowing that critical infrastructure will continue functioning even if the power is out.”
The creation of a microgrid involves connecting multiple structures to form a grid independent of the main power grid that connects entire portions of the country. In emergencies, if the grid fails, the microgrid can detach from it and continue to function.
“The potential to establish a microgrid, which could enable our town to retain vital electrical service should an emergency occur, will provide an enhanced level of protection, greater peace of mind, as well as aiding in any needed recovery efforts,” Town Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio said. “We are so grateful for all who worked hard to secure funding for this microgrid feasibility study.”
The feasibility study will look at linking the Port Washington Police District, the Port Washington Fire Department, Port Washington Union Free School District (which serves as an American Red Cross Storm Shelter), the Port Washington Water District, the Port Washington Public Library, Landmark on Main Street and the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter to form a microgrid. The town’s effort to support these critical hubs for disaster mitigation and relief will be performed in partnership with Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington (Residents), and is supported by the Port Washington Crisis Relief Team, the North Hempstead Department of Emergency Management and the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, PSEGLI and National Grid.
Mindy Germain, executive director of Residents, said, “Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington is proud to partner with the Town of North Hempstead to realize a future for Port Washington with a cleaner and more reliable energy system.”