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Montefiore in the News

July 9, 2015

NY Prize Enables Development of a Microgrid to Enhance Reliability of Power During Emergencies  

NEW YORK (July 9, 2015) – Montefiore Health System, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Jacobi Medical Center and Calvary Hospital have been selected to participate in the first phase of the NY Prize Community Microgrid Competition. Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery, the NY Prize is part of a statewide endeavor to modernize New York’s electric grid. The three Bronx healthcare leaders and premier biomedical research campus have been selected to receive $100,000 in funding to conduct a feasibility study for their East Bronx Healthcare Microgrid project. Microgrids are standalone energy systems that can operate independently in the event of a power outage.

Montefiore’s Weiler Campus, Einstein, Jacobi Medical Center and Calvary Hospital are located in an area prone to frequent power outages. Although each have utilized onsite generators in the past, a microgrid would provide critical energy backup should single generators fail during emergencies or extreme weather conditions like hurricanes.

“Single generators are at risk of failing during prolonged outages, putting hospital operations in danger,” said Edward Pfleging, vice president, Facilities, Montefiore Health System. “Our proposed microgrid will help reduce the potentially damaging effects from an emergency and keep our patients and staff safe. The microgrid would also increase the reliability of clean energy and efficiency of generation during a large-scale power outage.”

The East Bronx Healthcare Microgrid will explore the feasibility of integrating and controlling multiple local generation and storage assets. This includes combustion turbines, battery systems, steam turbine generators and heat recovery steam generators in both grid-tied operations and operations not connected to the grid. Funds are allocated to identify site opportunities and constraints, cost planning and management. Additionally, funds will support the development of a procurement strategy and a preliminary project master program.

The $100,000 grant will be shared with environmental and engineering experts like Gotham Energy 360, Van Zelm Engineers and Environmental Engineering Solutions, to complete the NY Prize’s feasibility phase.

The NY Prize Community Microgrid Competition is a first of its scale, $40 million competition that will help communities create microgrids. The competition is made up of three phases and is part of the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision plan to create a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for New York. The East Bronx Healthcare Microgrid is one of 30 selected awardees. Eligible participants were required to create a project that could integrate into utility networks and serve multiple customers, including a “critical infrastructure” customer, like a hospital or police station.