California Utility Builds Solar Microgrid in 27 Days to Avert Wildfires in Sierra Nevadas

SCE

A solar microgrid, built in 27 days in cold and windy weather, was Southern California Edison’s (SCE) solution to an urgent need to avert wildfires near a remote dam in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Installing the microgrid in November allowed the utility to turn off a line that provided power to the site of the Gem Dam, part of the Rush … [Read more...]

Microgrids as Non-Wires Alternatives

non-wires alternatives

S&C Electric's Erik Svanholm discusses the potential of microgrids as non-wires alternatives, which use distributed energy resources and microgrids to defer or replace the installation of more traditional ‘wires and poles’ infrastructure. Non-wires alternatives (NWAs) are any nontraditional investments that allow electric utilities to … [Read more...]

Texas Customers Could Save $5.47 Billion with DERs, but Regulations Must Change

distributed energy resources

Texas consumers could save $5.47 billion over ten years with distributed energy resources (DERs), but regulations must change to realize these benefits. A study by Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA) identified two ways DERs can reduce costs: Act as non-wires alternatives to avoid investment in tranmission and distribution … [Read more...]

Homes to Sell Renewable Energy to Businesses in Vermont’s First of a Kind Local Energy Marketplace

local energy

The Holy Grail of local energy lies in the ability of customers to sell to one another. LO3 Energy, a leader in the quest, took a big step today with a program that lets homeowners sell renewables directly to businesses served by Vermont utility Green Mountain Power. Called Vermont Green, the pilot project also looks to solve some haunting … [Read more...]

Regulators ask Hawaiian Electric to Explain Lack of Non-Wires Alternatives in Plan

non-wires alternatives

The Public Utilities Commission of Hawaii is pushing back against Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) proposed integrated grid plan (IGP) because it has not given sufficient consideration to non-wires alternatives. HECO may be prematurely excluding non-wires alternatives and “significantly” delaying the proposed soft launch of its IGP, the … [Read more...]

Tough Summer for the Power Grid. But the Microgrids are Working

power outages

Severe heat and storms across the US this summer have strained the electric grid and caused extensive power outages. But the microgrids are working. Consider what happened on July 20 in northeast and north central Wisconsin when a thunderstorm knocked out power to 240,000 customers, leaving 50,000 with no power for two to three days. The … [Read more...]

History of Microgrids in the US: From Pearl Street to Plug-and-Play

history of microgrids

While it may seem that microgrids are new, the history of microgrids shows they have been around in some form for years in the US — although they haven’t always been called microgrids. The first one was introduced by Thomas Edison in 1882 at his Pearl Street Station, which combined heat and power and produced electricity and thermal … [Read more...]

Taking Non-Wires Alternatives to a New Level, Company Petitions FERC to Move Electricity by Rail

non-wires alternatives

In a filing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Alternative Transmission (ATI) proposes a technology that could bring a new meaning to the concept of non-wires alternatives. Based in Sullivan’s Island, S.C., the company wants to move batteries by rail for discharge and charge where needed on the electric grid. Further, … [Read more...]

What are Non-Wires Alternatives?

non-wires alternatives are

Non-wires alternatives (NWAs) use distributed energy resources and microgrids to defer or replace the installation of more traditional 'wires and poles' infrastructure. When utilities choose non-wires alternatives, they often save ratepayers money by avoiding investments in costly infrastructure. By utilizing distributed energy resources (DER) at … [Read more...]

S&C Electric VP on Non-Wires Alternatives: Faster, Better, Cheaper

non-wires alternatives

Erik Svanholm, vice president, non-wires alternatives for S&C Electric, defines the term 'non-wires alternatives' and gives examples of how microgrids can provide these alternatives to traditional investments in wires and the transmission grid during an interview with Microgrid Knowledge's Elisa Wood at Microgrid … [Read more...]