Late last year, we spoke about New York City’s electricity problems.
A mixture of high demand and incoming renewable energy sources prompted Con Edison to find a new way to integrate clean energy sources into high-use Brooklyn and Queens grids.
Now a new startup is taking a smaller — but certainly more flexible — route to Brooklyn’s grid neutrality.
Rather than adding new renewable energy sources to the main grid, The Brooklyn Microgrid will bring in local microgrid systems called TransActive Grid (TAG).
The systems will integrate monitoring software into the local grids, currently in the Park Slope and Gowanus communities, to allow customers to buy and sell electricity from each other.
Mainly, this will be applied to customers who already have solar installations on their homes.
Much like net metering, which allows homes with solar panels to sell spare energy back to utilities, renewable-ready homes will now be able to sell to their neighbors.
The software will be able to monitor energy use and facilitate energy trades. The system will monitor each participating building “via a constantly updated cryptographically secure list” plugged right into the existing energy infrastructures.
Allowing locals to buy and sell energy from each other rather than from utilities saves the community at large money.
You see, this will keep the money in the hands of the community and its residents.
TAG co-founder Joseph Lubin has even expressed interest in updating the software some day to include variable prices for lower-income customers and allow for preferences to be set for maximum energy and money savings.
It’s a pretty ambitious goal, but a very possible one. It sounds a bit like something Elon Musk would come up with, given his support of solar systems and independence from national energy grids.
The Brooklyn Microgrid is still extremely small — but there is a ton of potential if it succeeds.
To continue reading about TAG in Brooklyn, simply click here to read the TreeHugger article.
Until next time,
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