First Niagara Bank finances $3.8 million loan for natural gas microgrid in Bridgeport

By Kevin Zimmerman

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First Niagara Bank has finalized a $3.8 million loan with Bridgeport MicroGrid LLC for the planning, development and installation of a natural gas microgrid in Bridgeport. The microgrid — designed to provide continuous power to critical public facilities in the event of a major power failure — is part of a municipal pilot program through the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

Expected to be operational by July 2017, the microgrid will serve approximately 144,000 citizens of Bridgeport and is designed to provide a central, independent and local generating facility to supply and distribute power to City Hall, police headquarters and the Golden Hill Senior Center. In addition, the generators’ excess heat will be utilized to provide both heating and cooling by way of an absorption chiller to those buildings.

OR&L Construction in Branford, along with representatives from Controlled Air in Branford and Power Island Energy LLC in Jacksonville, Fla., formed Bridgeport MicroGrid LLC, which will be responsible for the design, installation, maintenance, future advancements and improvements to the grid.

In addition to First Niagara’s financing package, Bridgeport MicroGrid LLC received a $500,000 loan from the CT Green Bank, while the city of Bridgeport also received a $2.9 million grant from DEEP to support the project.

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