Community Microgrids

The CCEP was selected for a Community Microgrids Feasibility by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. Engineering for the study is being conducted by Willdan.

Through the Community Microgrids initiative, two strong partners – the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) and the City of Worcester – will provide resilience in both buildings and transit.

The feasibility study will assess:

  • Leveraging existing and developing additional solar, storage and electric bus transit through a partnership among E4TheFuture, the WRTA, and the City of Worcester;
  • Optimal solar + storage powered electric bus routes, including for deployment during a critical event;
  • Identifying sites owned by the City of Worcester for placement of electric bus charging stations; and,
  • Whether the WRTA’s Operations and Maintenance Center, or another WRTA or City of Worcester structure, could act as a storm shelter during a critical event. With no critical facility currently designated in the City of Worcester, providing clean, reliable electricity to this building is a needed addition to the area – particularly as severe weather events continue to increase in frequency and strength.

Local Benefits

Benefits to the region would include:

  • Economic Development: more efficient, resilient, and potentially lower cost electric bus transit will not only benefit the existing community, but would also provide an existing draw for those relocating to Worcester;
  • Resilience and Reliability: expanding electric bus options, storage, and critical facility partnerships that will create resilience to power disruption;
  • Increased Mobility: providing clean transit options will increase mobility for those unable to afford personal transportation;
  • Decarbonizing Electricity in Buildings and Transportation: solar and storage powered buildings and electric buses reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide tremendous environmental benefit.

Replicability

Partnerships with municipalities and their local transit authorities provide the basis for replication in Massachusetts and beyond. As more communities begin to think about sustainability, resilience and electrification, the CCEP in Worcester may serve as a lasting model.

The feasbility study will conclude by the end of 2019.