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NY Prize Microgrid Competition

NY Prize Microgrid Competition: Recognizing the impacts of power outages on residents, businesses and communities, GOSR works to assess the post-storm functionality of critical energy infrastructure. Through the efforts of the NY Rising Community Reconstruction (NYRCR) Program−alongside interagency coordination with New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA)− GOSR began to develop innovative solutions to address power outages that also met citizen-driven recovery needs.  Partnering with NYSERDA to create the NY Prize competition, GOSR strives to inspire a new generation of local power, while seeking to repair damaged energy systems and increase the resiliency of the State. Together, GOSR and NYSERDA will challenge communities, businesses, entrepreneurs and electric utilities to design and implement community-based microgrids, which offer energy independence as well as local power generation and distribution.

Competition Structure:

GOSR will work in coordination with NYSERDA to identify projects which meet an unmet recovery need in a disaster-declared county. The NY Prize Competition will operate within three distinct phases.  As part of the competition, each applicant must meet of the criteria outlined by NY Prize competition guidelines

NY PRIZE Phase 1: Feasibility:

In Phase 1 of the competition, applicants can submit microgrid proposals as shown in competition guidelines. At the close of the Phase 1, in the spring of 2015, NYSERDA will review all applications to see that submitted projects meet the published program guidelines. NYSERDA and GOSR will decide which proposed projects merit moving forward to the next phase. NYSERDA will send GOSR the applications so that it can conduct a preliminary review of the applications to see which projects meet HUD CDBG-DR criteria. In Phase 1, GOSR will focus on identifying if the project is located in a HUD eligible county, has a tie to  one of the eligible disasters, and if the applicant is eligible to receive HUD CDBG-DR funds. Because the competition will use both CDBG-DR and State Funds, GOSR will score the proposed projects and classify them into 3 risk areas; this scoring tool is shown here.  After NYSERDA has reviewed the applications and obtained the HUD funding risk assessment, NYSERDA will inform applicants which projects will receive additional funds to move forward in the competition. To further the feasibility assessment and provide more specificity, NYSERDA will enter into a relationship with the design team and provide up to $100,000 of funding to each team to support the work for Phase 2 of the project. At the close of Phase 1, NYSERDA will review the submitted projects and reduce the number of projects moving into the final completion to approximately 10 projects. No CDBG-DR dollars will be used or provided for this phase.

A list of Phase 1 Feasibility winners can be found here.

A map of Phase 1 Feasibility winners can be found here.

NY PRIZE Phase 2: Design

NYSERDA will enter into a relationship with approximately 10 applicants from Phase 1 and provide up to $1,000,000 of funding to each applicant, to support the design work in Phase 2 of the project.  Expected to last until late spring 2016, Phase 2 will result in final design products being submitted to NYSERDA. GOSR will work with NYSERDA to conduct a more detailed review of the approximately 10 selected projects to see if the projects submitted meet CDBG-DR criteria. No CDBG-DR dollars will be used or provided for this phase.

NY PRIZE Phase 3: Construction   

In Phase 3, NYSERDA will fund up to five projects from Phase 2 for implementation. GOSR will work with NYSERDA to conduct a detailed review of the winning projects to determine which of the projects would meet CDBG-DR criteria.   After the winning designs are announced, NYSERDA will work with GOSR to announce the funding allocations for each project. Some winning designs may not be HUD eligible due to a number of factors, including, but not limited to, working with private utilities, the location of the microgrid, and tie to the storm. However, for those winning designs which are HUD eligible and approved by GOSR’s internal review team, GOSR will work with NYSERDA to provide funding for the implementation of the winning design. GOSR will provide up to $20 million of CDBG-DR funds for project construction. Municipalities with winning projects will be required to execute subrecipient agreements and comply with all HUD CDBG-DR funding rules and guidelines.

Press Releases:

Governor Cuomo Announces Awards to 83 Communities to Support Clean Energy

Governor Cuomo Announces First NY Prize Awards for Five Energy Microgrids

Governor Cuomo Announces Launch of $40 Million NY Prize Microgrid Competition


Learn more about NY Prize here.