5 questions to ask when choosing a demand response program for your microgrid

Tom Poteet, vice president of corporate development at Mesa Solutions, outlines five questions you can use to determine which demand response program works best for your organization. Demand response programs offer many utility consumers a great way to lower their electric utility bills by reducing the demand component (kilowatts) of monthly … [Read more...]

California looks for ways to make it easier to deploy demand flexibility

As debate rages about the causes of grid fragility, especially in places like Texas and California, and renewables get caught in the crossfire, a crucial solution is often ignored: demand flexibility. Instead, politically driven sides call for fewer renewables and more fossil fuels — or more renewables and less fossil fuels. Others point to … [Read more...]

Pay microgrid owners to boost California’s grid? Credits and “price machines” proposed

Two separate proposals floated last week before California regulators open the door for financial incentives that would encourage microgrid owners to step in and help out when the electric grid is falling short. Fuel cell company Bloom Energy offered the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) a specific plan to provide credits to … [Read more...]

DER and microgrid companies poised to help as summer heat threatens the US grid

With grid operators signaling that that the summer could bring power shortfalls, companies that pool together resources such as residential and commercial solar, storage and microgrids are poised to jump in and provide grid flexibility in an effort to keep the lights on. The Washington Post recently described the electric grid as "wheezing" … [Read more...]

5 strategies to reduce microgrid costs from the experts

To cut microgrid costs, industry experts offer five strategies: optimize the energy resources to ensure they provide the most benefits, consider cost- and time-saving design tweaks, avoid overengineering, take advantage of standard packages and look into financing that involves no upfront costs. Patrick Lee, president and CEO of PXiSE Energy … [Read more...]

Microgrids and EVs can make magic with the right market signals

Electric vehicles (EVs) could become important microgrid assets that reap income by providing grid services. But there's a glitch — a lack of market signals from the grid in many places. However, a growing number of cities and other organizations are pairing EVs and vehicle-to-grid programs with microgrids to test the idea, expecting to reap not … [Read more...]

Remember when powering your house with your vehicle was a wild idea?

A few years ago, the thought of using the batteries in electric vehicles (EVs) to provide vehicle-to-grid (V2G), vehicle-to-microgrid or vehicle-to-home power was just an idea, maybe even a wild idea. Now these programs are inching toward reality, with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Snohomish Public Utility District (PUD), … [Read more...]

Hotel microgrids cut energy costs, meet demand from guests for sustainability

Travelers are looking for accommodations that meet sustainability goals, and a hotel microgrid can help meet that demand with financial help from federal incentives and participation in energy markets. Travelers have good reason to search for sustainable hotels. Because hotels operate 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and include refrigeration, … [Read more...]

Green hydrogen – the critical element for mobile DERs

Lauren Flanagan, the executive chair and co-founder of Sesame Solar, shares insights on how distributed energy resource (DER) systems can integrate solar, battery storage and green hydrogen backup power for mobile, emergency power applications. In his 2002 groundbreaking book, "The Hydrogen Economy," Jeremy Rifkin predicted that hydrogen … [Read more...]

Why do data center operators choose diesel backup over cleaner microgrids?

Operators of data centers — which consume high amounts of electricity per square foot of space — generally choose diesel backup systems over cleaner microgrids, sticking to the tried and true and believing that diesel provides the best reliability option. But that conservative choice yields emissions of carbon and particulates and misses … [Read more...]