Why Microgrids? It’s All in the Name

microgrids

When Steve Jobs released the first iPhone ten years ago, Bloomberg predicated only "a few gadget freaks” would find it appealing. Bloomberg wasn’t alone. Many other reputable analysts failed to foresee the iPhone’s appeal and how this small device would redefine markets. Who knew a little box could do so much – be a phone, but also a banking … [Read more...]

Stacking Energy Storage Values to Make Batteries More Profitable: Brattle Report

stacking energy storage

Stacking energy storage values -- capturing many value streams -- can lead to profitable projects, even at current storage costs, according to a new report from economists at The Brattle Group. The report, "Stacked Benefits: Comprehensively Valuing Battery Storage in California," focuses on California, but its conclusions apply generally to the … [Read more...]

Post Irma: Will the Southeast become the New Northeast for Microgrids?

microgrids

Microgrids are on the rise in the U.S., but not quickly enough for the millions in the Southeast who lost power this week – and continue to have none days later -- following Hurricane Irma. Perhaps most poignant, Irma underscores what loss of electricity means to senior citizens, a potentially life-threatening situation when air conditioning … [Read more...]

No Fish Story. Tiny Island Lands Big Catch with Microgrid

solar plus storage microgrid

Cuttyhunk witnessed New England’s whale oil industry give way to kerosene and incandescent light bulbs. Now the tiny island is deep in another energy revolution -- reducing diesel use by way of a solar plus storage microgrid. With a $2.1 million microgrid in operation since the early spring, the fishing mecca offers good argument for pursuing … [Read more...]

Hurricane Harvey Devastation Shows Why Grid Resiliency is Critical

grid resiliency

While the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the West’s wildfires are fresh in our minds, it’s critical to start focusing on grid resiliency -- and how distributed energy can contribute to it. Utilities and state regulators right now focus more on grid reliability than grid resiliency, said Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the Energy Storage … [Read more...]

Duke Energy Florida Aims for Hip, Two-Way Grid of the Future

two-way grid

Duke Energy Florida has plans to re-make its grid into a two-way grid that incorporates renewable energy, storage, electric vehicle charging stations and smart meters and boosts resiliency. The plan is a blueprint for re-making a dated grid into a more fashionable system that’s bidirectional, flexible, protects itself against power outages … [Read more...]

How a Kid and a Hockey Game Created a Community Microgrid

community microgrid

It wasn’t a hurricane, blizzard or blackout that gave Todd Wilcox the idea to develop a community microgrid in North Bay, Ontario. Instead, of all things, it was a hockey game. The CEO of North Bay Hydro was watching a game at the local ice rink, an important gathering spot for the small city in northeastern Ontario. He saw a young child … [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...]

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...]

Wondering if Energy Storage Can Reduce Your Demand Charges?

demand charges

If you’ve heard that energy storage can reduce what you pay in demand charges, and you’re wondering if it would work for your operation, check out a paper issued today by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Clean Energy Group (CEG). The paper finds that 25 percent of commercial customers in the U.S. – five million – pay demand … [Read more...]