Inside a $40M Army Energy Efficiency Project and Microgrid on the Marshall Islands

remote microgrid

Johnson Controls has been awarded a $40 million energy conservation contract that includes a remote microgrid on the Marshall Islands, designed to boost resiliency and cut diesel use for the U.S. Army. A partnership of Johnson Controls and the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, the multi-stage project is underway at the U.S. Army Garrison … [Read more...]

Can EV Infrastructure in California Keep Up with Adoption?

EV infrastructure in Califorina

California is on track to meet or surpass Gov. Brown’s earlier goal of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) by 2025. But EV infrastructure challenges could prevent the state from meeting his latest goal of 5 million ZEVs by 2030, says a report prepared for the think tank Next 10. Inadequate EV infrastructure could slow down adoption, says F. … [Read more...]

Can Utilities Rate Base Energy Storage as a Distribution Asset?

Rate Base Energy Storage

Can utilities rate base energy storage as a distribution asset? Texas is now tackling this big question, with the potential to set policy that could have national ramifications. The question arose when American Electric Power (AEP) asked the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas to approve its proposal to install numerous grid-scale batteries … [Read more...]

“Stale” Time-of-Use Rates May Undercut Benefits of Energy Storage in California

energy storage California

California's grid operator is considering a load shift product that could beat "stale" time-of-use rates in its ability to avoid greenhouse gases and generate income for energy storage system owners and operators. The problem, for storage system owners, is time-of-use rates are getting “stale,” and don’t represent what mix of fuels are producing … [Read more...]

Will the New Solar Tariffs Hurt the Microgrid Industry? Yes and No

microgrid industry

Energy insiders offered mixed views this week about how new solar tariffs imposed by the Trump administration will impact the microgrid industry. The tariff on imported solar panels and cells came in response to complaints from two foreign-owned solar companies operating in the US. The companies said they were forced into bankruptcy as a result … [Read more...]

Are Energy Storage Projects Qualifying Facilities? A “Shotgun Wedding” for PURPA

energy storage projects

What are energy storage projects under federal law? Are they eligible for certain favorable long-term contracts with utilities? Or are they subject to less attractive rules and regulations that apply to solar energy? That’s the question that Franklin Energy, which develops distributed energy resources, is asking in Idaho, where it has proposed … [Read more...]

Puerto Rico Wants Microgrids. But Will its Rules be too Rigid?

microgrids

José Román Morales, president of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission (PREC), is clear: Microgrid development is welcome in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico -- even before the commission’s just-released draft rules are finalized. “Right now, we need to get the country back on its feet,” he said, referring to the fact that in the wake of Hurricane … [Read more...]

The Good, Bad and Ugly of Vehicle-to-Grid Services

vehicle-to-grid

All eyes are on Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) as it tests the ability of EVs to help power homes during outages and provide demand response. Will vehicle-to-grid live up to its big promise? Industry insiders are both optimistic and cautious. “The biggest challenge to using EVs to flow power back to the grid is that doing so would … [Read more...]

Will This Solar Community Microgrid Save Money AND Generate Income?

solar community microgrid

Researchers at University of California, Riverside, are testing a control system for a solar community microgrid that will decide how to dispatch assets — reaping energy savings and perhaps generating income. The Bourns College of Engineering research team is working on a power system for a microgrid located at the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe … [Read more...]

Wind-powered Community Microgrids Heat “Boxes of Bricks” in Alaska Homes

wind-powered community microgrids

Wind-powered community microgrids are providing both electricity and heat to four small rural communities in Alaska, cutting residents’ fuel bills and reducing dependence on diesel fuel. What makes the project viable is its focus on community needs beyond just electricity, said Dennis Meiners, principal of Anchorage-based Intelligent Energy … [Read more...]