Barrar and Committee Consider Microgrid Pilot Program
HARRISBURG – Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) and other members of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee heard from PECO about the creation of resiliency in the electric grid system to support emergency and disaster response capabilities under a pilot program.

“When there are catastrophic natural disasters – like the hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico – being able to create power for critical services like water and sewer treatment is critical,” Barrar said. “This conversation is about what we can do to protect our fellow Pennsylvanians.”

A microgrid is a method of onsite power generation capable of near instantaneous start-up and ramping. It can operate when connected to the distribution system or in island mode, as well as seamlessly switch between the two options.

PECO representatives assured committee members that any profit that may be generated through microgrids would be returned to the ratepayers to offset the cost of grid development. It would not be a profit-generating venture.

When considering where to place a microgrid, PECO representatives are looking for the greatest societal benefit. The chosen site will be able to support vital community services. A committee member emphasized that a microgrid should not be placed where it would give an unfair competitive edge to one commercial business over another.

The bill calls for the evaluation of results within five years of the pilot program’s creation. It is expected that the first two years will be dedicated to producing and implementing necessary processes; the next three years will be spent monitoring the microgrid for required evaluation.

Members were encouraged to work with staff when drafting amendments before the legislation comes up for a vote by the committee.

To view footage of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee hearing, click here.

Representative Stephen E. Barrar
160th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
717.260.6206 /

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