AUGUSTA, Maine — A legislative committee has recommended passage of a Maine bill that would allow towns to make local power grids with increased independence.

Democratic Rep. Mick Devin of Newcastle made the proposal, which would allow the Maine Public Utilities Commission to hear proposals from towns to build “microgrids.” He said the small, localized power grids would be able to temporarily disconnect from the state power grid while still transmitting power.

The Maine Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee recommended passage of the bill last week. It needs approval from the full Legislature.

Devin says such localized power grids are in a good position to prevent outages and stand up to adverse weather events. He says they are especially useful for areas that are near critical facilities such as hospitals.

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