By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships Inc.
Many parts of the country have experienced catastrophic winter weather events in recent years. In Texas recent winter weather issues were exacerbated when over-taxed grid networks failed to perform. Grid failures are why some public officials are spending millions on energy resilience projects. The U.S. solar market, which is just one segment of the energy resilience industry, is on track to quadruple by 2030.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has numerous programs that provide funding to support energy resilience projects throughout the country.
Later this month, the DOE will announce more funding awards from two grant programs—both of which offer support for energy resilience projects. Funding is available for remote areas, sensitive sites and for projects at all jurisdictional levels of government. Many states and municipalities are also allocating money to support energy resilience projects.
In Wisconsin, the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District will invest $50.9 million in a project to bolster energy resilience at a wastewater treatment plant. District officials are identifying assets that need to be replaced at the Nine Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant. Outdated equipment and processes will be upgraded, and the plant will be positioned for wider use of biogas which will generate both clean, on-site electricity as well as revenue. The project’s concept design is oriented around three major priorities: reducing energy consumption, increasing energy production, and finding wider, more reliable uses for biogas.
A public university in Klamath Falls, Oregon is seeking design services for a project to make the entire campus more energy-resilient. The project focuses on renovating the Oregon Institute of Technology’s heat exchange building. Preliminary plans involve replacing the geothermal storage tank in the existing facility with an insulated concrete structure designed for in-ground installation. Additional elements of the project include replacement of supply lines from production wells, and a new membrane roof for the renovated heat exchange building. A project cost of $15 million is projected.