West Virginia Regional Microgrids for Resilience Executive Summary
Research

West Virginia Regional Microgrids for Resilience Executive Summary

  • State-wide effort to engage stakeholders and collect data to identify sites for resilience projects to foster equitable public decisions and improve local communities.
  • Mapping toolkits to help prioritize resilience investments based on natural hazard risks, critical infrastructure, energy equity, and utility operation and planning.
  • Replicable business cases for microgrid deployment scenarios for individual critical facility types and community microgrid clusters.

Why explore microgrids for resilience?

Microgrids allow customers and communities to minimize impacts of power outages by incorporating local power generation and energy storage to supplement the traditional power grid. Microgrids are one approach to bolster resilience of communities affected by power outages due to a natural disaster or extreme weather event.

What’s in the report?

The report identifies opportunities for deploying microgrids to increase the resilience for the state of West Virginia. It includes results from SEPA’s three-phased approach with key stakeholders in West Virginia to prioritize and evaluate potential microgrids for resilience. The objectives were to:

  • Identify areas of the state and specific sites where the West Virginia Office of Energy (WVOE) can facilitate the deployment of microgrids and other solutions for resilience
  • Understand how natural hazard risks, critical infrastructure, disadvantaged communities and community interest align with utility operations and planning to establish tiers of resilience need and microgrid suitability in the state
  • Engage with key stakeholders to collect data and input necessary to conduct a comprehensive microgrid suitability and economic assessment
  • Align with the White House’s Justice40 Initiative, FEMA BRIC program, IIJA, Inflation Reduction Act, and other federal and state funding opportunities for enhanced grid and community resilience

What mapping tools are available to assess resilience needs in West Virginia?

As part of this project, SEPA collected data to develop two mapping resources that stakeholders can leverage to identify resilience needs and microgrid deployment strategies across West Virginia:

GIS Resilience Needs Map

Explore a collection of story maps which walks the user through the methodology of geospatial analysis, the data the team used to assess resilience needs across the state, and the results of that analysis. Users will benefit from flipping through this resource first before trying out the interactive mapping tool because of the amount of context we provide for each data layer.

GIS StoryMap

This tool enables the user to view all of the data layers used in analysis on the same map. Once users have a good understanding of the data layers and analysis from the collection of story maps, they can proceed to this tool in order to customize their data visualization experience.

 


 

SEPA would like to thank the WVOE for the opportunity to conduct this study. The development of this study was financially assisted from a grant assisted by U.S. DoE. SEPA would also like to thank our key stakeholders that provided input on our site selection criteria and played an important role in highlighting key considerations.

DOE logoWVOE logo

West Virginia Regional Microgrids for Resilience Executive Summary