Planning Begins on California Microgrid Road Map

State policymakers will begin work this week on a California microgrid road map, an effort to remove barriers to microgrid development.

The California Energy Commission will hold a workshop May 24 at 1:30 p.m. (Pacific time) with the Public Utilities Commission and the California Independent System Operator. The session is geared toward utilities, microgrid owners, developers, manufacturers and other stakeholders.

The commission has created similar road maps for energy storage and vehicle-to-grid integration.

The idea for the California microgrid road map sprang from a report, “Microgrid Assessments and Recommendations to Guide Future Investment,” issued by the commission last year, and prepared by DNV GL.

Based on a survey of 119 stakeholders, DNV GL found ten main barriers to microgrid development in California, with policy and regulation as the top hindrances.

Top Ten Barriers to Microgrid Commercialization
California microgrid road map
The study’s key recommendations were:
  • Identify the location on the distribution or transmission systems where microgrids may have the maximum benefit to ratepayers and to the grid.
  • Improve interoperability standards and operational guidelines for microgrids.
  • Improve dissemination of information on microgrids to help electric systems operators, planners, and the public understand the values (tangible and intangible) that microgrids provide.
  • Develop policy, markets, or other means to capture and quantify values provided by microgrids, such as improved reliability, islanding capability, lower emission production, and reducing electrical losses.

California is pursuing expansion of microgrid grids to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support reliability and resiliency, and facilitate higher levels of distributed generation

The commission is accepting comments on Calfornia’s microgrid road map plan until 4 p.m. PT, May 25, sent to eli.harland@energy.ca.gov.

Details to access Tuesday’s commission meeting are here.

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Elisa Wood About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com and EnergyEfficiencyMarkets.com. She has been writing about energy for more than two decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.

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