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10/28/2015 - First Selectman Mike Tetreau and CT's Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection Unveil Fairfield as State's First Town to Go Live with Microgrid Project

First Selectman Mike Tetreau announced today that he joined Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP)’s Deputy Commissioner Katie Dykes, State Representatives Cristin McCarthy Vahey and Brenda Kupchick, representatives from Fairfield’s federal delegation, town officials, including Fairfield’s Police and Fire Chiefs, an Emergency Communications Center representative, Schneider Electric, Operation Hope’s Board Chair and members of Fairfield’s Clean Energy Task Force to help power up the first municipality microgrid project to come online through the statewide microgrid pilot program.  Fairfield is one of a handful of towns from around Connecticut to receive $1.1 million in grants for this important project.

“Fairfield’s microgrid project is an example of how a municipality can help protect public safety and minimize hardships to their residents and businesses during power outages,” said Deputy Commissioner Dykes. “During an emergency, the microgrid will provide electricity for critical services at Fairfield’s Police and Fire Headquarters, the Emergency Communications Center, the nearby Cell Phone Tower, and Operation Hope’s Homeless Shelter which is located behind Police Headquarters.”

During today's event at Fairfield’s Police Headquarters, Deputy Commissioner Dykes announced that a third round of microgrid grants will soon be launched.

First Selectman Mike Tetreau said, “As the first municipality in the State to use this new technology at our Town’s public safety sites, Fairfield continues to be on the forefront of seeking and receiving important grants like this one to maximize the reliability of our critical infrastructure during power outages. This grant allows Fairfield to save taxpayer dollars by using the greenest and most economic electricity. I want to thank Fairfield’s DPW Assistant Director Ed Boman who has sought millions of dollars in clean energy grants over many years that not only lowers our electricity bills, but helps our environment. I also want to thank DEEP for awarding Fairfield as one of only a handful of communities in the State with this generous grant that our Town will reap benefits for years to come.”

Microgrids provide electricity to critical facilities and town centers on a 24/7 basis. They include a system of “trips” and “transfers” to isolate the microgrid and provide power within its network even when there is a large-scale outage.

The microgrid program was created in 2012 and included a number of initiatives to enhance the ability of the state, municipalities and utility companies to better prepare for and respond to natural disasters and intense weather situations. In the first two rounds of grants, 11 microgrid projects were awarded $23 million in funding primarily through DEEP. The Town of Fairfield received $1.1 million in grants for this project.

The projects will provide power for government services and businesses that are critical during extreme weather events such as police, fire, and emergency response teams, hospitals and health care facilities, state and town emergency response centers, grocery stores, and gas stations.

“We’re proud to help ensure efficient, clean and reliable energy for the residents of Fairfield even in the event of a natural disaster,” said Chris Bleuher, Microgrid Program Business Development Manager for Schneider Electric, which installed the microgrid. “Fairfield has established itself as an early leader in microgrid development and serves as a model for other municipalities wishing to protect their critical facilities.”

The photo of the ribbon cutting ceremony shows Ed Boman, Assistant Director of Fairfield's Department of Public Works, First Selectman Mike Tetreau, State Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey, State Representative Brenda Kupchick and Chris Bleuher from Schneider Electric, along with another representative from Schneider Electric who's standing behind Mr. Boman. They are standing in front of one of the microgrid projects, a new natural gas generator outside the Police Department.