Alternate power sources evaluated for key local infrastructure

By on June 3, 2018

Hyde County Government Center. (Ocracoke Observer)

North Carolina Emergency Management is partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to evaluate possible alternative power sources for three key infrastructure sites in Dare, Currituck and Hyde counties.

Experts from the labratory’s Solar Technical Assistance Team are evaluating the Cape Hatteras Water Treatment Plant in Frisco, a radio tower in Barco and the Hyde County Government Center in Swan Quarter, then make recommendations about how to keep the facilities operating during power outages.

“Keeping critical infrastructure in service during a disaster increases public safety and speeds response and recovery,” said Mike Sprayberry, state emergency management director. “Experts will review these facilities to find ways to make them even more reliable when a storm comes.”

The counties each selected one high–priority piece of critical infrastructure to be included, according to a news release Monday from the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

The Cape Hatteras Water Treatment Plant provides 2-million gallons of water daily for 5,500 customers on the southern end of Hatteras Island and is the primary source for firefighting water from Avon to Hatteras.

The water treatment plant is one of the island’s primary power consumers, placing heavy demands on the local power grid even during clear weather.

Hyde County chose its government center in Swan Quarter, which houses critical administrative offices for the county including the emergency operations center that coordinates disaster response for the county.

Currituck County selected the radio tower located on the campus of Currituck High and Middle schools, which holds some of the most critical pieces of the county’s public safety radio system and is the only county tower that supports the statewide VIPER radio system.

The NREL team will examine threats, vulnerabilities and risks associated with each location, then will model potential resilient power solutions tailored to each facility.

Those recommendations could include solar, alternative energy or hybrid systems that work in conjunction with existing emergency power generation capabilities.

See what people are saying:

  • Really?

    Do the “experts ” realize there may not be much of a solar effect during a major storm? Lol!

    Tuesday, Jun 5 @ 9:06 am