Real weather events such as Hurricanes Sandy and Irene have resulted in Connecticut plowing a total of $18 million into microgrids strategically located throughout the state, with 9 microgrids now moving forward with construction. An additional $30 million was recently approved by state lawmakers there to be distributed over the next two years to augment this initial investment by the State of Connecticut for additional microgrids. Other East Coast states such as New York are considering similar moves as a response to extreme weather apparently linked to global climate change.
Interest in microgrids is also spreading to the Midwest, where it was announced in late July that 9 states would collaborate under the umbrella of the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) to pursue economic development and new jobs initiatives linked to microgrid components and systems, with an eye toward opportunities in key export markets.
Some of us with greying hair (or perhaps no hair at all) may remember the advent of bomb out shelters from the 1950s. As a pre-teen, I recall going down into one such chamber on the outskirts of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, marveling at all of the supplies stored up in this underground structure, including rows and rows of canned goods (and my first glimpse of a Playboy calendar). With the thawing of the Cold War, the bomb out shelter fad faded away, though I still wonder what happened to these underground bunkers.