COVID-19 Providing a World of Research on the Grid and Microgrids: IEEE

With their controls and ability to provide resilience, smart microgrids can solve numerous energy-related challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis, says the co-author of a new Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) report about how the pandemic has affected the industry and grid. Farnoosh Rahmatian, immediate past chair of … [Read more...]

Sunbaked Texas Grid May Need Microgrids this Summer

Even in a pandemic, it seems the Texas electric grid can’t catch a break. The grid operator for most of the state warned this week that the summer is likely to bring record-breaking peak demand for electricity, a situation that can threaten electric reliability and jack up prices. It’s not unusual for the heavily air-conditioned state to … [Read more...]

NARUC Issues Reports on Using Distributed Resources to Improve Grid Resilience

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) has released a report on how distributed energy resources (DERs) and microgrids can improve grid resilience along with a guide state regulators can use to review proposed projects. “With more threats to the distribution grid, strategically placing generation resources or … [Read more...]

California to Include Avoided Transmission Costs in DER Benefits Calculation

The California Public Utilities Commission has agreed to consider avoided transmission costs for the state’s three investor-owned utilities as part of its cost-benefit analysis for distributed energy resources (DERs). The issue centers on the PUC’s “avoided cost calculator,” or ACC, a methodology used to determine the benefits of DERs that … [Read more...]

Microgrid Investment Less Risky than Grid Projects for Africa: Report

Microgrid projects could play a major role bolstering the electric grid in Africa, which needs roughly $1 trillion in investments, according to a white paper by researchers at Boston University. The power system in sub-Saharan Africa is generally poorly developed and its quality ranges widely from country to country, and even within countries, … [Read more...]

COVID-19 Likely to Spur More Microgrid Development 

History tells us that disasters tend to spur new interest in microgrids. This pandemic is no exception as COVID-19 strains hospitals, data centers and food distribution and delivery systems, making power outages unthinkable. A quote in the Wall Street Journal by Peggy Noonan, being widely circulated on social media, sums up how important … [Read more...]

Less Risk, More Arbitrage Income for Microgrid Operators and Owners?

Often, microgrid operators have the choice of either purchasing a fixed supply contract or playing in the market, but not both, said James McGinniss, CEO and co-founder, David Energy, a competitive retail electricity supplier. “Microgrid customers are often faced with a bad choice: They can take an indexed contract in order to capitalize on … [Read more...]

New Microgrid at Brooklyn Mall Supports Grid and Helps ConEd During Blackout

A new microgrid serving Kings Plaza shopping mall in Brooklyn, N.Y. kept operating through a Consolidated Edison (ConEd) blackout last summer and helped the utility restart after the outage. The microgrid consisting of oil and gas fired engines was completed in May after the owners decided to convert a 12-MW stand-alone power system to a … [Read more...]

ERCOT Warns of Tight Summer Conditions in Texas. Microgrid Opportunity?

While California is today’s hub of microgrid opportunity, the Texas market bears watching as its grid operator, ERCOT, warns that this summer could bring record electricity use. ERCOT released its spring Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy, more commonly known as the SARA report, last week and with it projections that the coming summer … [Read more...]

Neighborhood Microgrids would Provide Resilience under Sunrun Plan

Solar and storage provider Sunrun has proposed creating neighborhood microgrids that would allow for resilience and energy sharing within “distribution islands.” The company released a paper intended to encourage utilities and other stakeholders to consider reconfiguring the grid into distribution circuits that can be islanded. Under the … [Read more...]