State Funding OKd Micro Grid

July 10, 2015

WINDHAM -- Senator Mae Flexer and Representative Susan Johnson announced today that the school building projects bill approved June 29 by the legislature on unanimous and bipartisan votes in both the House and Senate includes funds to make energy conservation and public safety improvements at two Windham schools.

The improvements will install solar panels and combined heat and power units at the Windham Middle School -- with wiring to connect to the W.B. Sweeney School -- in the event of a natural disaster or public emergency where power is disrupted and the public needs a place to shelter.

Powered also in part by natural gas, the self-sustaining unit could run for a month or longer, housing more than 1,500 people.

The state is providing $1.44 million for the new work in addition to a previous $709,000 state grant from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to create an electric micro grid on the property. Architectural plans are now being developed; work on the project is expected to begin in the late spring or early summer of next year.

“I am proud to see Windham recognized for its leadership in taking care of its residents while pursuing energy efficiency initiatives,” Johnson said. “This project is a great example of the town and the state working together to ensure that the public has a safe place to shelter in case of an emergency.”

“This state investment is going to make the Windham region safer for the public during emergencies as well as provide the schools with a low-cost source of energy,” Flexer said. “I’m glad to see this worthwhile project receive the support of everyone in the state legislature.”