Too Few Microgrids for Puerto Rico? Or Too Many? Depends on Who You Ask

microgrids

With power still not fully restored, Puerto Rico finds itself forced to quickly answer questions about microgrids that much of the U.S. mainland has yet to tackle. How many microgrids are enough? What’s the utility role? What price should customers pay for microgrid power? How green should they be? And what defines a microgrid, … [Read more...]

Long Before Microgrids were Called Microgrids: The Russelectric Story

russelectric

You might say the world’s just catching up to Russelectric. Long before microgrids were called microgrids, the Massachusetts-based company offered the technology. “We have been building microgrid and distributed energy controllers and systems for 50-60 years, they just weren't calling them that,” said John Stark, Russelectric’s marketing … [Read more...]

Combined Heat and Power is the Dominant Microgrid Technology…For Now

microgrid

Combined heat and power (CHP) is the dominant form of microgrid technology now, but solar energy threatens to usurp its position by 2026. That's the word from Navigant Research in its new report, Microgrid Enabling Technologies Market Overview. The report finds that among generation technologies deployed within microgrids, CHP leads with 655 … [Read more...]

The Double Life of Microgrids: Eaton’s Solution to a Cybersecurity Problem

microgrids

When it comes to cybersecurity, microgrids live a dichotomy. They can block the ill effects of a hacked power grid. But they also can invite trouble. Because of their ability to island from the grid, microgrids offer protections to their customers during an attack on the grid. If a hacker causes a grid outage, the microgrid can separate … [Read more...]

Can Utilities Rate Base Energy Storage as a Distribution Asset?

Rate Base Energy Storage

Can utilities rate base energy storage as a distribution asset? Texas is now tackling this big question, with the potential to set policy that could have national ramifications. The question arose when American Electric Power (AEP) asked the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas to approve its proposal to install numerous grid-scale batteries … [Read more...]

NYPA to Re-Think Albany Microgrid Following Pressure to Add Renewables

Albany microgrid

Under pressure from local advocates, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) says it will take a second look at plans for a 16-MW Albany microgrid project to see if it can incorporate renewable energy. As originally conceived the Albany microgrid would use combined heat and power (CHP) to supply 90 percent of the power, as well as heating and … [Read more...]

Microgrids Powered by a Sidewalk? Siemens and Pavegen Are On It

microgrids

Power plants aren’t what they used to be. Consider a new partnership formed by Siemens and UK startup Pavegen that paves the way for sidewalks to act as power plants for microgrids. Pavegen produces electricity from footsteps by way of interactive flooring tiles. Each step creates the equivalent of 20 seconds of light from an LED bulb. In … [Read more...]

“Stale” Time-of-Use Rates May Undercut Benefits of Energy Storage in California

energy storage California

California's grid operator is considering a load shift product that could beat "stale" time-of-use rates in its ability to avoid greenhouse gases and generate income for energy storage system owners and operators. The problem, for storage system owners, is time-of-use rates are getting “stale,” and don’t represent what mix of fuels are producing … [Read more...]

Ameresco Project Goes Live to Anchor Philadelphia Navy Yard Microgrid

Navy Yard Microgrid

A generating plant that will serve as anchor for the Philadelphia Navy Yard microgrid -- one of the largest private microgrids in the U.S. -- is now in operation. Project developer Ameresco announced completion of the new 6-MW natural gas peaking plant Tuesday, in a ceremony also attended by the PIDC -- Philadelphia’s public-private economic … [Read more...]

Will the New Solar Tariffs Hurt the Microgrid Industry? Yes and No

microgrid industry

Energy insiders offered mixed views this week about how new solar tariffs imposed by the Trump administration will impact the microgrid industry. The tariff on imported solar panels and cells came in response to complaints from two foreign-owned solar companies operating in the US. The companies said they were forced into bankruptcy as a result … [Read more...]