New York Launches Investigation into Electric Resource Adequacy

electric resource adequacy

New York has launched an investigation into its mechanism to ensure electric resource adequacy out of concern that its current approach fails to account for local reliability and environmental benefits. The Public Service Commission voted to initiate the proceeding (CASE 19-E-0530) Thursday and now seeks comments from interested … [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...]

Is Load Flexibility the New Demand Response?

load flexibility

Demand response is reaching a saturation point, but load flexibility is emerging as its new iteration, a 2.0 that is much more powerful and could become a 200 GW grid resource for the U.S. by 2030. That’s the word from the Brattle Group, in a report, “The National Potential for Load Flexibility: Value and Market Potential through 2030.” Among … [Read more...]

A Tool to Help Home Microgrids Stay Off Grid as Long as Possible

off grid

Researchers at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) have developed an optimization tool for microgrids that allows homes to stay off grid as long as possible, generally using solar, storage and smart meters. The researchers recently received a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office, based on a grant from the US Department of … [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 the Schneider/Autogrid Deal Signals about the Future of Microgrids

utility microgrids

Schneider Electric’s recent decision to take a stake in Autogrid hints at the future relationship between utilities and microgrids as data exchange grows in sophistication. A global energy leader in energy management and automation, Schneider is a strong player in both microgrids and the utility market. Autogrid, a California energy software … [Read more...]

Electric Vehicles Are Driving Utility Rates Down

NRDC's Max Baumhefner, senior attorney for the climate and clean Energy Program, explores how the proliferation of electric vehicles could potentially lower utility bills across the board.  Can the addition of more electric vehicles to the grid actually lower utility bills for all customers? A recently updated study demonstrated just that, … [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...]

Scrutiny Begins of New Energy Resource Plan Issued by Puerto Rico’s Utility

Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) issued a revised integrated resource plan (IRP) late last week in the latest move to redesign the island’s grid to avoid a repeat of the massive power outages brought by Hurricane Maria. Like its earlier version, the new plan segments the island into eight minigrids but incorporates more … [Read more...]