Should you even bother connecting to the grid?

After years of developing energy projects, and dealing with the frustrations of interconnecting to the grid, Ben Parvey said enough is enough. It’s time to help people get off the grid. Parvey is not a back-to-the-land romantic. He’s a former public finance attorney who since 2008 has served as CEO of New Jersey-based Blue Sky Power, which … [Read more...]

A new mobile nanogrid that needs neither grid nor gas station

After Hurricane Katrina hit the southeastern US in August 2005 — causing more than 1,800 deaths — Lauren Flanagan, CEO and co-founder of nanogrid maker Sesame Solar, decided she had to do something to address the human toll of climate disasters. “When you have a Katrina-like catastrophe, the government sends out fossil solutions,” she said. But … [Read more...]

A microgrid that you can fit in your golf bag

Energy flexibility is the new, new thing. And all microgrids offer it to some degree. But a small Brooklyn, NY, solar firm brings a whole new meaning to the term. Imagine fitting 1.3 kW of solar energy in a golf bag and it’s so light you can carry it around for use where you need it. That’s one of the value propositions that Pvilion is … [Read more...]

Why aren’t there more small wind turbines on buildings?

Solar panels and batteries are common elements of a microgrid. Wind turbines, on the other hand, are more of a rarity. Large wind turbines can be found in microgrids built on islands or in remote blustery locales. But smaller rooftop wind turbines, befitting a city skyline, are rare. Solar panels are the more common sight. Cities can be … [Read more...]

Puerto Rico’s utility needs to act on solar, storage and microgrids, says industry group

A solar and storage advocacy group in Puerto Rico wants the island's utility to get moving on required investments in solar, storage and microgrids as ordered by regulators. The Solar and Energy Storage Association of Puerto Rico (SESA) said the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) needs to push forward to meet the island's aggressive … [Read more...]

Top 10 microgrid white papers of 2021 — Funding and building microgrids for resiliency

COVID-19 continued to disrupt life and the energy industry in 2021. In the face of a global pandemic, we've also seen greater threats to our energy grid from wildfires in California and intense storms along our southern and eastern coasts.  In light of these challenges, who better to turn to for expert advice and strategies than microgrid and clean … [Read more...]

Are Second Life EV Batteries Game Changers for Microgrid Owners and the Grid?

Second life electric vehicle batteries can lower costs and provide environmental benefits to microgrid owners and utilities. But getting them up and running at a reasonable cost isn’t always easy. Here’s what happens with electric vehicle  batteries before they find new lives: They’re generally retired after about 10 years, leaving up to … [Read more...]

Five Considerations for Designing DERs with Increased Energy Autonomy

Lauren Flanagan, executive chair and co-founder of Sesame Solar, discusses key considerations that simplify the process of designing distributed energy resources (DERs) that create energy autonomy. Distributed energy resources (DERs) are significantly changing the way energy is produced, stored and distributed. Ideally, they are mobile and … [Read more...]

California Makes Big Move on Solarizing Commercial Buildings

The California Energy Commission has approved first-of-its-kind building standards to spur solar and battery storage — often components in microgrids — in a range of new commercial buildings. Approved unanimously August 11, the standards are set to be considered by the California Building Standards Commission in December and, if approved, … [Read more...]

Anticipating Triple Digit DER Growth, California Launches New Action Plan

In a move that could affect microgrids, the California Public Utilities Commission is developing a sweeping DER Action Plan aimed at revamping policies, programs and incentives. The commission in 2016 approved its first DER Action Plan, which served as a five-year roadmap for coordinating activities across commission proceedings aimed at … [Read more...]