Connecticut's State Bond Commission approved $5.1 million to create two microgrid projects in Bridgeport and Milford that will help keep critical buildings and facilities powered even when the electric grid goes down, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Jan. 30.

The funding comes as part of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's Microgrid program, legislation for which Malloy signed in 2013.

"Microgrids are an essential part of our strategy to make certain that we can better withstand the type of catastrophic storms we have experienced in recent years, and the extended loss of power that accompanies them," Malloy said in a statement after the panel met in Hartford.

In July 2013, nine microgrid projects in Bridgeport, Fairfield, Groton, Hartford, Middletown, Storrs, Windham, and Woodbridge were awarded $18 million as part of the first round of grants under DEEP's Microgrid Program. One of those nine projects at Wesleyan University in Middletown is already operational. The remaining projects are in various stages of development.

Each microgrid project is designed to provide power for government services and businesses that are critical during extreme weather events, such as police, fire, emergency response teams, shelters, dining facilities, state and town emergency response centers, grocery stores, and gas stations.

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