Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit

Supporting the Development of Resilience Hubs

A brown stone apartment building
Maycroft Apartments affordable housing complex in Washington, D.C. where non-profit Jubilee Housing is working to incorporate a community resiliency room with the ability to provide power for several days following a grid outage due to extreme weather or another disturbance. (Source: Adaptation Clearinghouse)

Clean-energy powered “resilience hubs” with battery storage can provide critical emergency response services in areas with greater socioeconomic risk, while also providing broader grid modernization benefits. Resilience Hubs are defined by USDN as “community-serving facilities augmented to support residents and coordinate resource distribution and services before, during, or after a natural hazard event.”See footnote 1 At a minimum, a resilience hub should be able to provide emergency services during extreme events — including offering the community a place to gather to obtain information, receive emergency supplies, store and refrigerate medical supplies, receive basic medical care, charge electronic devices, and access the internet.See footnote 2 In addition, resilience hubs are designed to deliver other “steady-state” services based upon community input and needs. The resilience hub is outfitted with a solar and back-up battery storage system (energy system) that can “island” from the conventional grid and maintain power to the facility during wider grid outages to provide steady-state services.See footnote 3 Resilience hubs must be carefully sited to consider proper interconnection to the existing macrogrid and to serve the best interest of the community. Another important consideration is identifying potential facilities that will house a resilience hub. The funding, owning, and operating of a resilience hub will likely involve various entities, agencies, and partnerships, which may lead to a complex system of agreements between involved parties.

Considerations of Supporting the Development of Resilience Hubs


  • Battery storage is the costliest and the most essential component of a resilience hub. Acquiring battery storage is critical to ensuring steady-state energy to avoid economic losses and provide critical emergency services during power outages.
  • Public-private partnerships with utilities could be arranged where the utility leases back the right to use the battery storage during normal operations to enhance grid resilience community-wide. Such a partnership could deliver financial benefits to the resilience hub operator or provide a mechanism to finance the installation of the battery system.
  • A solar and storage system might not appear to be economical under traditional cost-benefit calculations, but improvements are being made to these methodologies to better capture the resilience and environmental value of solar and storage systems, which can help make the fiscal case for these types of investments.


  • Battery storage can also help to expand the capacity of the grid to better integrate renewable energy sources, which can contribute to reducing air pollution and GHG emissions.

Social /Equity

  • Resilience hubs that are designed and managed by the community are intended to serve the needs of the community on a daily basis and should be utilized as a part of the permanent community infrastructure, unlike temporary emergency shelters.
  • Hubs can also enhance social cohesion because they can be designed to serve as community gathering places and “community centers” where residents can access information and services.


  • Resilience hubs are innovative and can be technically difficult to administer because they often require multiple funding streams and coordination between public agencies and the private owner or operator to establish and retrofit the hub facility.


  • Resilience hubs that are implemented in a single facility are often not subject to microgrid regulations. Instead, resilience hubs, in most instances, likely need only comply with local rules regarding interconnection and islanding.

Lessons Learned

  • Recognizing there is no one size fits all approach to establishing a resilience hub, partners should remember the core purpose and definition of what a resilience hub is and who it is to serve outside of the technical and physical aspects of the hub itself.
  • When powered by renewable sources, resilience hubs can deliver environmental benefits by enhancing clean energy solutions and reducing the community’s carbon footprint.
  • If the community is not directly involved as a party to the design of the resilience hub, the facility does not qualify as such.
  • In addition to the upfront work needed to establish a hub, the parties need to develop long-term deployment plans and sustainable funding sources for activating the hub during emergency events.
  • Government agencies and hub owners/operators will likely need an agreement to define the roles and obligations for activating the hub during emergencies and maintaining long-term hub operation.



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