Maryland Energy Administration awards $750K Microgrid grant to Frostburg State U.

July 27, 2022
Solar arrays will be installed across the campus, including rooftop, ground-mounted systems and a canopy over a parking lot that will include electric vehicle charging stations. A gas fuel cell system will co-generate combined heat and electric power.

Frostburg State University has been awarded $750,000 in state funds to develop an on-campus microgrid incorporating solar and thermal power as well as e-Mobility infrastructure.

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) awarded FSU the grant from its Resilient Maryland Capital Development Pilot Program funds. The money will help build a clean energy power system to protect critical campus operations in the event of power outages or other energy disruptions.

Frostburg State University officials have mulling the possibilities and challenges of a microgrid for the past two years.

“We are excited for Maryland institutions like Frostburg that see the benefits of expanding sustained electrical power through this program,” said Dr. Mary Tung, Director of MEA. “In times of much needed emergency operation, it’s vital to ensure our communities protect our most at risk with the necessary energy resources.”

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The Frostburg campus microgrid will incorporate several energy resources. Solar arrays will be installed across the campus, including rooftop, ground-mounted systems and a canopy over a parking lot that will include electric vehicle charging stations.

A gas fuel cell system will co-generate combined heat and electric power. The system will heat water for campus use and also chilled water through an absorption chiller, according to the release. An advanced microgrid control system will help integrate all of the resources.

Frostburg State is a public university educating more than 5,000 students at the campus. It was founded in the late 19th century.

So far the Resilient Maryland capital and strategic energy investment fund has identified about 30 microgrid and other distributed energy potential projects across the state.