Today, Congressman John B. Larson announced $152,492 in federal funding for the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT). The grant, awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Community Development Initiative Program, aims to improve energy reliability in 28 rural CT Communities over a three-year period. Funds will be used to develop collaborative and innovative energy reliability plans utilizing DEEP's Connecticut Microgrid Program to help rural communities operate essential facilities during electric grid outages and energy crises.
"Collaboration is vital to increasing energy reliability and efficiency across rural Connecticut," said Congressman John Larson. "This funding will help bolster our communities' energy systems in the face of increasingly common weather related events and foster development through increased energy reliability."
"CCAT is grateful that the USDA will be assisting us and our rural communities to prepare for and avoid power outages," said Joel Rinebold, CCAT Director of Energy Initiatives. "The execution of the program with Connecticut's Microgrid Program will have direct benefits for increasing energy efficiency and reliability, and will also provide opportunities for the development of renewable energy systems, reduced energy costs, and economic development."
"As part of our focus on innovative ways to increase economic growth through technology, workforce strategies and efficiency, we are proud to be leading the team in this project," said Elliot Ginsberg, CCAT CEO. "The project is critical to boosting the economic strength of our state and region through energy efficiency. Through the support of the USDA and the extensive planning to be conducted under this grant, Connecticut's rural communities will have the capability to be part of the state's Microgrid Program and expand their economic development efforts."
The USDA funded Rural Community Development Initiative Program intends to help community-based development organizations promote economic growth in low-income, rural communities. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will support this statewide initiative by matching funds, raising the total project funding to nearly $305,000 over a three-year period.