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...]

Hurricane Harvey Creates New Abnormal for the Electric Grid

microgrids and Hurricane Harvey

Stories are just beginning to emerge about microgrids and distributed energy systems that are keeping critical services up and running despite Hurricane Harvey's best efforts to do them in. Twenty-one convenience stores and gas stations in the Houston area remained open thanks to an unusual microgrid system designed by Enchanted Rock … [Read more...]

Natural Gas versus Distributed Energy: Which is Less Expensive?

natural gas versus distributed energy

The natural gas versus distributed energy conversation continues with the release of a much-anticipated California study that concludes that a centralized natural gas generation plant is less expensive -- at least in the power-strapped area studied. The conclusion came out of a report "Moorpark Sub-Area Local Capacity Alternative Study," by the … [Read more...]

Analysis: Will the Perry Study Actually Help Microgrids and Energy Storage?

microgrids and energy storage

Microgrids and energy storage improve electric reliability. So it was perplexing to see how little attention they received in a major study on grid reliability issued this week by the U.S. Department of Energy. Businesses, communities and institutions across the country have stepped up installation of microgrids in recent years to ensure power … [Read more...]

Project Spotlight: The Philadelphia Navy Yard Microgrid

Large ports and maritime facilities make regular, intensive use of some of the largest, heaviest and most power-hungry machinery and equipment manufactured. Serving their energy needs is no small task, whether it be via conventional grid, distributed energy resources, or a mix of both. So it seems appropriate that one of the most ambitious projects … [Read more...]