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

Sonnen

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...]

Microgrids and Energy Storage Helped Arizona Utility Prevail on Hot & Dark Days

microgrids and energy storage

It’s been a tough year for North American electric grids -- hurricanes, heat, fires, an eclipse. But an Arizona utility is reporting that it did just fine with some help from new microgrids and energy storage. “Driving past a microgrid or energy storage unit, many customers wouldn’t look twice, but those technologies are playing an increasingly … [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...]

What Do Today’s Microgrid Customers Seek?

microgrid customers

What are today’s microgrid customers seeking? The quick answer is more reliable power. The deeper answer is that they need “optionality,” according to Michael Carlson, president of Siemens Digital Grid US. Carlson, who will be a featured panelist at Microgrid 2017 in Boston next month, sat down recently with Microgrid Knowledge to describe … [Read more...]

German Company sonnen to Deliver Emergency Microgrids to Puerto Rico

microgrids to Puerto Rico

Energy storage manufacturer sonnen said today that it is launching an effort to bring microgrids to Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Maria destroyed almost the entire electric grid. The German company is stepping in as the island’s utility, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), reports that it may take months to restore power to all of … [Read more...]

The Sky Fell in Puerto Rico. The Microgrid Argument is not Chicken Little

microgrid

Hurricane Maria showed that warnings about the vulnerabilities of centralized electric grids – and the need for microgrid development -- are not overstated. When the hurricane hit the U.S. territory on September 20, it knocked out power to 100 percent of 1.57 million accounts served by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the … [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...]

Grid Resiliency, Irma, and the Downside of Waiting until Disaster Strikes

grid resiliency

Despite a heroic effort by utilities, hundreds of thousands of customers remained without power in Florida on Monday, eight days after Hurricane Irma landed, heightening the call for greater grid resiliency. “Severe weather, like the hurricanes experienced in Texas and the Southeast, quickly put into the spotlight the fragile state of our … [Read more...]

Florida Braces for Prolonged Power Outages, Damage to Energy Infrastructure

power outages

Government and utility officials are warning Floridians that Hurricane Irma is likely to cause widespread power outages and extensive damage to energy infrastructure that could take weeks to repair. "Due to the strength and magnitude of Irma, our service area will likely see widespread and substantial destruction that will require crews to … [Read more...]