Zimbabweans Turn to Minigrids in Droves Amid Chronic Blackouts

It's said that necessity is the mother of invention, and that's the case in Zimbabwe where businesses and well-off residents are reportedly turning to off-grid minigrids and on-site solar, small wind and hydro-plus-storage systems in droves amid grid outages that can last 18 hours a day. The average cost per connection for minigrids in … [Read more...]

Microgrid Helps North Carolina Island Recover from Hurricane Dorian’s Devastating Blow

Thanks to its microgrid, North Carolina's Ocracoke Island was able to restore power three days after Hurricane Dorian sent a tidal wave smashing into its coast line, causing massive flooding. Initially, both the grid and the microgrid went out of operation when the hurricane struck September 6, and flood waters rose 13 feet. Local service … [Read more...]

Nation’s Largest Residential Battery Demand Response System Being Built in Utah

A new 600-unit apartment complex and sustainable community in Utah's Salt Lake Valley will feature a virtual power plant (VPP) that its backers say will be the largest residential battery demand response system in the US. Local utility Rocky Mountain Power will manage the virtual power plant to shave peak demand and provide behind-the-meter … [Read more...]

Flash-Charging E-Bus System in China Expected to Charge in Seconds

A collaboration between ABB and China electric bus (e-bus) manufacturer King Long Motor Group holds the promise of a flash-charging system for e-buses that opens the door to electric vehicle-to-grid and development of urban microgrids. ABB and King Long are in the midst of developing a pilot project in China. King Long is designing and … [Read more...]

Hawaiian Island will Create a Virtual Power Plant from 1,000 Solar Homes

Sunrun and Open Access Technology International (OATI) will create what they describe as the world's largest residential virtual power plant (VPP) by managing the electricity from some 1,000 rooftop solar-plus-storage systems to be installed on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu. Under a four-year contract beginning in 2020, Sunrun and OATI will … [Read more...]

Microgrids Made Easier — and Smarter — with Software that uses Artificial Intelligence

Good things don't always come easily. Microgrids are no exception. "The process of developing microgrids can be costly. It begins with a feasibility study reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars, even before any design, procurement and installation," said Kay Aikin, CEO of US-based Introspective Systems."Moreover, those feasibility studies … [Read more...]

Water but No Grid: A Microgrid Solves Dilemma for UAE Agricultural Operation

There was water, but no electric grid at the site Themar Al Emarat chose for its new hydroponic farm in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The agricultural company found the solution in a 5.94 MW off-grid microgrid. Key to the farm's success is the ability to cool and chill water for cultivating mushrooms, lettuce and other crops for local … [Read more...]

Researching the Human Side of Microgrids, Too, for Storm-Battered Tallahassee

Battered by Hurricane Michael last year, the City of Tallahassee and researchers are trying to design a storm-hardened microgrid system, one that considers both engineering and human psychology. The city is working with a cross-disciplinary research team from Colorado State University (CSU) that won a  $194,000 grant in June from the National … [Read more...]

Ontario First Nation Sets Clean Energy Milestone with Microgrid

Gull Bay First Nation and utility partner Ontario Power Generation (OPG) set a clean energy milestone for off-grid Canadian indigenous communities recently with the commissioning of a hybrid solar-plus-storage microgrid. The $6 million system has the capacity to meet the entire community's electricity needs for 11-12 hours per day when … [Read more...]

PowerGen-E.ON Deal Boosts Microgrids, Minigrids, Micro-utilities in Africa

PowerGen Renewable Energy, a leading player in Sub-Saharan Africa's fledgling, but fast growing markets for microgrids, minigrids and micro-utilities, acquired the Tanzanian microgrid assets of another emerging market leader, Rafiki Power, aka E.ON Off-Grid Solutions. The acquisition furthers PowerGen Renewable Energy's goal of creating … [Read more...]