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...]

PGE Plans Customer, Community Microgrids as Part of Energy Storage Pilot

community microgrids

Portland General Electric (PGE) has filed plans with state regulators to develop customer-sited and community microgrids in response to a state energy storage mandate that could reap big benefits to the utility and its customers. Filed with the Oregon Public Utility Commission, the proposal calls for two to five microgrid pilot projects. The … [Read more...]

Siemens Launches First Zero-Emission, Trolley-Style Electric Highway in the US

electric highway demonstration

With its zero-emission electric highway demonstration — the first of its kind in the US — Siemens aims to reduce the smog-creating emissions from heavy-duty trucks in southern California, the area's number one source of air pollution. The project creates a one-mile, trolley-style highway for heavy-duty trucks in Carson, near the ports of Long … [Read more...]

Why Closed Mines are Good Sites for Renewables, Storage and Microgrids

renewables, storage and microgrids

Closed mines may not immediately come to mind as good sites for renewables, storage and microgrids. However, through its program, Sunshine for Mines, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), in partnership with BHP, the world’s second largest mining corporation, has found that closed mines often make excellent locations for green energy … [Read more...]

How EVs Can Support the Grid and Utilities — and Why They Don’t

EVs Can Support the Grid

Let’s count all the ways EVs can support the grid and utilities. Then let’s count all the reasons they don’t. That’s what a new report from Deloitte does. Called Powering the Future of Mobility, the report says that EVs can help stabilize the grid, absorb extra renewable energy, and help engage utility customers. To do this, however, … [Read more...]

Microgrid Kept Power On Even as the California Wildfires Caused Outages

islanded microgrid

When the islanded microgrid at Stone Edge Farm near Sonoma, Calif., kept operating for 10 days in spite of the fires that caused outages nearby, the operators seized the opportunity to learn as much as possible from the surprises they encountered. The first surprise, of course, were the fires that struck suddenly, stoked by high winds and … [Read more...]

Duke Energy’s Green Microgrids Run Smoothly through Storm

green microgrids

Two green microgrids operated by Duke Energy rode through a weakened Hurricane Irma with no hiccups, while customers experienced outages close by. The first, the Mt. Sterling solar plus  storage remote microgrid, serves a communications tower located on National Park Service property in the Great Smoky Mountains on Mt. Sterling, Haywood County, … [Read more...]

Sonnen Welcomes America to the Future with a Hometown Virtual Power Plant

residential development microgrid

Before Sonnen became involved in a new and innovative Arizona project — a clean energy hive of 2,900 homes designed to act as a virtual power plant — the German company was frustrated with the US. In fact, Blake Richetta, Sonnen senior vice president, says that his CEO used a mild expletive to describe what it’s like trying to convince … [Read more...]

California’s Grid Operator Looks at How to Absorb Excess Solar Energy with Storage

excess solar energy

A first-of-a-kind load shedding proposal from California's grid operator aims to absorb excess solar energy with storage to help solve some challenging economic and environmental problems. The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) is now developing the idea, which would allow more solar energy to make it to the grid in the middle of a … [Read more...]

Brain Research Tools Could Help Revolutionize Energy Storage Technology

energy storage technology

Duke University brain science researchers are hoping to use electronics they developed for non-invasive brain stimulation to revolutionize energy storage technology, making batteries safer, more efficient and less expensive. The idea to apply brain science technologies to battery technology came from Stefan Goetz, an assistant professor of … [Read more...]