The City of Newport has the opportunity to lead the State of Rhode Island and the Nation in the development of community microgrids. Microgrids are small-scale power generation stations that can function independently or in coordination with larger power grids. The first opportunity is a project that would keep critical facilities and shelters online during a natural or manmade disaster. These facilities could include the main fire station (and emergency management headquarters), City Hall, Thompson Middle School (potential shelter-in-place facility), police headquarters, as well as Newport Hospital. The second opportunity is for a system to service the Resilience Innovation Hub as a permanent grid that can withstand any interruptions in larger, regional power grids.

NPDC team member Louis Berger is currently developing two microgrids in New York through two awards by the New York Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery – one will serve several public housing projects and the other serves a large hospital complex with other critical facilities nearby.

Our team continues to engage major private equity energy funds about their interest in these projects. Using Louis Berger’s experience with investors from similar projects, the team will leverage these relationships to further advance both the microgrid and overall power energy and telecommunication innovations proposed for Newport.