The Hurricanes of the West — Wildfires — Spur More Microgrids in California

microgrids

After wildfires caused power outages in California, the tinder box state is considering more microgrids in a proceeding before state regulators. “Wildfires are now to California what Sandy was to New York,” said Rick Bolton, CEO of Compass Energy Platform, referencing the 2012 superstorm that spurred a government push for microgrids after … [Read more...]

Solarcentury, Canadian Solar, Caterpillar and Tesla Energize 40,000 Off-Grid African Households and Businesses

Solarcentury

Developers and technology companies worldwide continue to focus on electrifying energy-poor areas of Africa. Recent example: 40,000 residents and businesses in the northeast African country of Eritrea now have reliable electricity thanks to two new minigrids. Developed by UK-based Solarcentury, the minigrids (Africa's term for microgrids) … [Read more...]

What Will it Take to Boost Microgrid Markets to the Next Level?

microgrid markets

Moving the microgrid market is an ambitious goal that will require policy changes, technology advances and a customer-centric approach, say several microgrid industry leaders recently interviewed by Microgrid Knowledge. Overall, this challenging effort delivers big benefits, they say. “It’s an exciting time to be in this industry,” says … [Read more...]

Goodbye to Arguments Against Renewables? New Studies Find them as Reliable and Cheap as Fossils

energy-as-a-service

Can renewables cost less than fossil fuel generation? And are they as reliable? It appears so, especially when they are coupled with a suite of distributed energy resources (DERs), such as virtual power plants and demand response. New reports by Energy Innovation Policy and Technology and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) lay out the … [Read more...]

New AC-DC Mobile Microgrid Holds Promise of More Efficient Power Distribution

mobile microgrids

A team at the University of Calgary plans to build a mobile microgrid that promises to improve the simultaneous distribution and management of both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) electricity. Three university professors are leveraging proprietary AC-DC power conversion and energy management technology to build and operate a … [Read more...]

Move Over, Lithium Ion: Thermal Energy Storage Finds a Niche

thermal storage

Thermal storage is gaining ground in refrigeration applications, providing demand management for one of utilities’ most energy-intensive industries. Industrial refrigeration consumes more energy per cubic foot than any other utility load, said Collin Coker, vice president, sales and marketing, Viking Cold Solutions. Thermal energy storage … [Read more...]

How to Use Cleaner Diesel in Microgrids

diesel-backed microgrids

We often think of diesel as dirty, and view renewable microgrids as one way to eliminate the use of diesel and other fossil fuels. However, more and more, diesel-backed microgrids can be cleaner, if they rely on the newer, Tier-4 generators. It all depends on where the power is needed, what fuels are available, and how much the microgrid … [Read more...]

Massachusetts and California Rank High in Energy Democracy: Report

energy democracy

Massachusetts, California, New York and Illinois are the top four states for energy democracy, as ranked by their commitment to boosting community-level renewable energy, according to a second annual Community Power Scorecard. The scorecard, released by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, names these states as stars because their energy … [Read more...]

Off-Grid Minigrids to Bring Sustainable Energy to 160,000 in Tanzania

minigrids

An ambitious project is underway to install minigrids for more than 160,000 off-grid villagers on islands in Lake Victoria. JUMEME Rural Power Supply recently launched phase one to commission by June 11 solar-hybrid minigrids for 20 villages and more than 80,000 villagers. Eleven more minigrids are slated for another 23 villages, 160,000 … [Read more...]

Thailand Petroleum Co. Tests Commercial Microgrid with Blockchain for Mall and Fuel Station

blockchain

Bangchak Corporation Public Co. Limited (BCP), a petroleum refiner in Thailand, is testing and demonstrating a commercial microgrid and blockchain energy trading platform at a community shopping mall anchored by a BCP fuel station in Bangkok. Combining 280.9 kW of commercial rooftop and canopy solar photovoltaics (PV), 913 kWh of … [Read more...]