October Infrastructure: deploying municipal broadband

In October, the Infrastructure Committee discussed what role the Tech Council can play in supporting groups who have obtained or are applying for grants for deploying municipal broadband. When the need for this support was first introduced, the Infrastructure Committee began a broadband resource project, which has since met. Action items are:

  1. Put up on the website information about availability of grants.
  2. On Nov. 30, Mark Howell will hold a webinar where people who have obtained grants can meet to discuss best practices and what challenges they have encountered. Mark Howell was the CIO of the Concord Municipal Network.

There has already been interest in the webinar, which is expected to address a relatively small group and will be interactive. Mark has developed a list of questions in order to focus on the actual needs of the group. The webinar is a first step and resource for groups who received grants and may not have expertise or technical experience to implement projects efficiently. As this is an area where Committee members have expertise, volunteers for a resource panel are welcome. The webinar is envisioned as a modest start and a place to connect. Participants may find ways to share with each other and follow-up resources may be available.

EarthTech Committee
Our EarthTech Committee will be doing a presentation at Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative’s annual Net Zero Conference on October 28.. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Ronit Goldstein, Community Relations and Economic Development for Eversource, reported on the Provincetown battery project, housed at the Provincetown transfer station.

The battery project is online and is in the final commissioning stage. It is the first for the company and the first single battery in the nation to power a micro-grid of this size. According to Goldstein, a typical microgrid has generation backup, which this project does not require; the 24.9 megawatt battery is the only generation (3.47 Eversource video).

The battery turned on in early October and carried the entire Outer Cape for about two and a half hours. Scheduled, short duration middle of the night outages are anticipated through mid-November, after which the battery should be fully commissioned. It is already charging and discharging as needed.

Working like a back-up generator, the battery will power the Outer Cape for up to 10 hours in winter, one to three hours in the summer. Its function is to buy time to fix the line, avoiding the need for a second distribution line which would require construction in the National Seashore. It also is effective in peak shaving. System planners are forecasting load, which is changing with seasonality and more electric demands.

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