Joel Rinebold, CCAT director of energy, addresses workshop participants.
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. (CCAT), the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted an “Energy Reliability/Microgrids for Rural Municipalities” workshop at CCAT in East Hartford on June 16. The event presented site-specific findings for work conducted in association with the DEEP/USDA Rural Communities Energy Assurance Program.
The Rural Communities Energy Assurance Program, administered by CCAT, helps communities identify and implement energy efficiency, renewable energy, and microgrid investments. It provides rural and lower-income communities with free technical assistance to improve energy reliability at essential community facilities. Program partners include USDA, DEEP, UConn, and Eversource Energy.
“This workshop was of high value for USDA eligible communities by identifying projects, potential partners, and technical options for microgrid applications with potential funding from the Connecticut DEEP Microgrid Program,” stated Joel M. Rinebold, director of energy initiatives at CCAT.
The DEEP Microgrid Program was created to support local distributed energy generation for critical facilities. Municipalities may qualify for a capital grant of up to $5 million if the microgrid were located in a priority town and area eligible for assistance from the Rural Community Energy Assurance Program.
“We are extremely pleased with the work that CCAT and the team have completed. It’s great to have partners that can provide training to help rural communities,” stated Noreen Laurinaitis, area loan specialist at the USDA office in Windsor. “This work supports the goal of the USDA Rural Development Program to improve the economy and quality of life in rural America.”