California Pays DERs Too Little in Attempt to Curb Blackouts

A decision from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) that aims to reduce the potential for blackouts because of hot weather this summer falls short for distributed energy resources (DERs) in California, industry members said. The ruling, "Decision Directing Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company … [Read more...]

How Behind the Meter Assets Can Help — or Hinder — Utility Energy Management in Texas

More and more, utilities are deploying behind the meter (BTM) assets — particularly energy storage and electric vehicles (EV) — to reduce their loads, balance their systems and provide resilience. In the wake of a February  outage, Portland General Electric said it has been testing projects that deploy customer sited storage to help boost … [Read more...]

Why and How to Bring Microgrids to Small Town America

This spring, the Poudre Valley Electric Association (PVREA), which provides power to northern Colorado, plans to test a microgrid for a small town that has experienced outages because of car accidents on curvy roads, extreme weather, and, in September, a fire that left the town without power for 52 hours. The microgrid, which will replace … [Read more...]

Not Only Texas Went Dark in February: After Storm, Portland, Oregon Tests Resiliency Partnerships

Texas captured worldwide attention in February when a devastating storm crippled the state's power system. But at about the same time, and to much less fanfare, part of the Northwest struggled with similar issues. Portland, Oregon, experienced power outages because of severe weather that left about 200,000 customers in the dark, some for several … [Read more...]

Camarillo, California Moves Ahead with Microgrids and Deeply Discounted Tesla Batteries

Camarillo, California, has approved a contract with the Clean Coalition to oversee the design of solar-based microgrids at five critical city facilities that will incorporate Tesla batteries. The city council March 10 also directed city staff to enter into a contract with Tesla for a 1-MW/ 4-MWh battery to be installed at the city’s … [Read more...]

Serendipity — and Generous Donors — Helped the Footprint Project Bring Solar to Desperate Texans

It was fortuitous that Oscar Ruiz arrived in Texas on February 19. He had originally intended the trip for another reason, but he quickly became the point person for an on-the-ground mission to build emergency clean energy systems for desperate Texans. Millions had lost power and water as a result of an historic deep freeze. Ruiz is the … [Read more...]

EVs Are a Disruptive Force. Smart Microgrids Are the Answer to Manage the Disruption

Scott Kessler, head of Microgrid Strategy & Sales at Siemens, describes electric vehicles (EVs) as classic disruptive technology and explains how microgrids manage the disruption. The headlines in 2021 from automakers making bold EV commitments have been dizzying. Jaguar, Volvo and General Motors have pledged to make 100% electric … [Read more...]

Puget Sound Energy Looks to Invest Heavily in DERs

Amid plans to shed about 750 MW of coal-fired generation, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) is preparing to invest heavily in distributed energy resources (DERs), including non-wires alternatives and possibly microgrids, according to a draft integrated resource plan (IRP). “Distributed energy resources, such as battery energy storage and rooftop as … [Read more...]

The Rise of Energy on Wheels

Two US energy companies have become the latest to offer a mobile energy system that allows a microgrid or batteries to move where needed at any given time. Called Nomad Transportable Power Systems (NOMAD), the new product is a joint venture of Northern Reliability and KORE Power. NOMAD is being offered in three sizes: 600 kWh, 1 MWh and 2 … [Read more...]

Microgrid at Australian Equestrian Center Helps Town Hit by Bush Fires

When bush fires swept the south coast of New South Wales in Australia last year, an equestrian center showed why it's good to have a neighbor with a microgrid. Willinga Park, an equestrian property that spans 2,000 acres on two national parks, became a safe haven for local residents’ cattle and horses in December, and its islanded microgrid … [Read more...]