Governor Martin O’Malley tapped his Energy Advisor, Abigail Hopper, to lead the Resiliency Through Microgrids Task Force to study the statutory, regulatory, financial, and technical barriers to the deployment of microgrids in Maryland. Microgrids combine clean, distributed power generation with advanced control technologies, enabling portions of the electric grid to remain online even if the wider grid is down. This effort builds on recommendations from the Grid Resiliency Task Force’s report issued in September 2012. This roadmap could also offer assistance to Maryland entities that apply for Department of Energy funding to assist with microgrid development.
“Marylanders expect and deserve an electric grid they can count on, especially during unpredictable severe weather events. Developing microgrids is critical to a sustainable future,” said Governor O’Malley. “As smart grid technologies continue to improve, microgrids have the potential to become an important piece of the climate resilience puzzle. The roadmap this task force will create will pave the way to a stronger, more reliable power grid in every corner of our State.”
The Resiliency Through Microgrids Task Force, staffed by the Maryland Energy Administration, will hold a series of public meetings starting March 3rd, with additional meetings through the rest of the month. The meetings will include panels of experts from across the State and nation and provide an opportunity for Maryland residents to contribute to the development guide.
The Task Force will focus on the statutory, regulatory, financial and technical barriers to the development of microgrid energy systems, including advanced control technologies, generation assets, and energy storage. It will also identify possible locations for pilot microgrid projects in high-demand areas across Maryland. The Task Force will report back to the Governor with a roadmap for action to address these barriers by April 14, 2014.
“I am excited to begin these discussions so that Maryland can clear the way for future microgrid deployment,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, Governor O’Malley’s Energy Advisor and Director of the Maryland Energy Administration. “Microgrids involve novel technologies deployed in new and interesting ways. By engaging key stakeholders and charting a clear path forward, we will offer Marylanders another tool to increase the resilience of the electric distribution system.”