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Driven By Power Outages And Savings, Towns Look To Microgrid

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WAMC Composite Photo by Dave Lucas
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An upstate New York town that repeatedly found itself without power for days during a string of storms is planning a dramatic step — pulling its municipal buildings entirely off the electric grid.

Nassau's decision to rely on solar, wind, landfill gas and battery storage by 2020 puts it on the leading edge of a national campaign to develop "microgrids" designed to make communities more energy independent and the grid more resilient.

While only a few communities have become early adopters, proponents say there is also growing interest across the country from places looking to save money by selling excess power to utilities and to help the environment.

But development of microgrids has been slowed by technical and regulatory hurdles. There's also been a mixed response from utility companies.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

 

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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