City of Boston
At a Glance
Engagement and Behavior Change
Sean Mulderigg performed a feasibility analysis of installing a microgrid in the City of Boston to increase resiliency and protect its citizens.
Having witnessed the devastation that New York City endured during super storm Sandy, the City of Boston saw the need to protect its citizens, particularly low-income populations, by developing and implementing resilient energy infrastructure. EDF Climate Corps fellow Sean Mulderrig was enlisted to identify communities with attributes favorable for the development of multi-user microgrids, local power grids capable of operating independently of the larger grid during a power outage.
After analyzing energy use model simulations on over 80,000 buildings in Boston, Sean worked with city agencies and cabinets to select eight initial communities for microgrid feasibility assessment based on their potential to increase energy affordability, resiliency and social equity. He collected data on size and use classification for the 100+ buildings, as well as collated energy use data on 40+ City of Boston and Boston Housing Authority properties within the selected communities. The Department of Energy’s Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership (DOE CHP TAP) analyzed the data to determine the optimal system size, emissions reduction potential and cost savings for CHP powered microgrids. This narrowed the field of eight communities down to one. For this location, Sean recommended the City explore additional means of powering the microgrid system, particularly solar and battery systems. Sean also developed a community engagement strategy to educate business and property owners on the benefits of these systems, and to request energy use data for future technical analyses.
Sean’s engagement with city stakeholders helped to raise awareness and galvanize enthusiasm for the potential benefits of a multi-user microgrid in Boston. Using Sean’s community engagement strategy, future feasibility analyses can include private building energy use data, which will provide a more robust view of implementing microgrids in Boston communities.