Why Microgrid Developers Shouldn’t be Storm Chasers

microgrid developers

Don’t follow one-time disasters to find microgrid opportunities; look instead to areas with recurring power outages and businesses interested in resilience, says a new study. Curious about the impact of storms and disasters, Wood Mackenzie, a global research and consultancy business, looked at microgrids sized 100 kW and above that were … [Read more...]

New Jersey Prepares for Second Round of Microgrid Funding

microgrid funding

New Jersey expects to begin accepting applications in November for its second round of microgrid funding, part of a program that already has 13 towns studying the feasibility of microgrids. As a precursor, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities plans to seek comments next month on a draft proposal for the second round of the New Jersey … [Read more...]

When Your Campus Microgrid Works So Well No One Notices

MSU

You know you’ve done something right when your new campus microgrid islands so seamlessly that you don’t even know it happened. That’s what occurred in February, in response to a communications glitch, at Montclair State University (MSU), the second largest university in New Jersey with 23,000 students. MSU's system includes a 5.4-MW … [Read more...]

Rural Electrification: Not Only Lights, but Jobs

distributed renewable energy

Minigrids and distributed renewable energy (DRE) promise to create much-needed employment as rural electrification ramps up in Nigeria, India and Kenya, according to a study, Powering Jobs Census 2019: The Energy Access Workforce. The report comes from Power for All, an organization of 250 business, finance, research and civil society … [Read more...]

History of Microgrids in the US: From Pearl Street to Plug-and-Play

history of microgrids

While it may seem that microgrids are new, the history of microgrids shows they have been around in some form for years in the US — although they haven’t always been called microgrids. The first one was introduced by Thomas Edison in 1882 at his Pearl Street Station, which combined heat and power and produced electricity and thermal … [Read more...]

Alaska, Model of Microgrid Development, Delivers Resiliency in Cold, Remote Conditions

microgrid development

Alaska’s challenges — cold weather and the high cost of delivered energy — are part of the reason the state is a model of innovative microgrid development, with the largest number of microgrids in the US, at 122. “This innovation flows from both the challenges associated with providing reliable electricity without the benefit of traditional … [Read more...]

Is Load Flexibility the New Demand Response?

load flexibility

Demand response is reaching a saturation point, but load flexibility is emerging as its new iteration, a 2.0 that is much more powerful and could become a 200 GW grid resource for the U.S. by 2030. That’s the word from the Brattle Group, in a report, “The National Potential for Load Flexibility: Value and Market Potential through 2030.” Among … [Read more...]

A Tool to Help Home Microgrids Stay Off Grid as Long as Possible

off grid

Researchers at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) have developed an optimization tool for microgrids that allows homes to stay off grid as long as possible, generally using solar, storage and smart meters. The researchers recently received a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office, based on a grant from the US Department of … [Read more...]

What are Non-Wires Alternatives?

non-wires alternatives are

Non-wires alternatives (NWAs) use distributed energy resources and microgrids to defer or replace the installation of more traditional 'wires and poles' infrastructure. When utilities choose non-wires alternatives, they often save ratepayers money by avoiding investments in costly infrastructure. By utilizing distributed energy resources (DER) at … [Read more...]

Solar Housing Linked to Bronzeville Microgrid Provides Social Justice, Technology Research

Bronzeville Microgrid

Chicago's Bronzeville microgrid project is demonstrating the social justice benefits of decentralized energy with the completion this month of solar installations on 660 residential units in the Dearborn Homes Community. The project, a partnership of Exelon subsidiary Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), developer VLV Development and the Chicago Housing … [Read more...]