I decided that I would try the ESP32 as the main microcontroller for Confagrid, I was going to need some sort of wireless communication and the microcontroller in the ESP32 looked plenty capable and the ESP-IDF based on FreeRTOS looked like it would be decent to work with. I liked that it used GCC and had lots of example code.
The only issue I had with the examples is that they were all using C and I wanted to use C++ but it wasn't too much trouble to re-work them to be more C++ friendly, it's currently a bit hacky but will be much easier to clean up and maintain. It doesn't look pretty, but I was able to get a Blinky running on the ESP32 communicating over I2C to the dev board that I made. It may not seem too impressive, but since the main part of the project is turning LEDs on and off, it is a big step. Once I figure out what I'm going to do about powering the clock I should be able to create an all-in-one board for the prototype and then I can focus on getting the firmware and backend stuff working together.