Postcard from the Future: Latest on How States are Preparing the Grid for Electric Vehicles

EV infrastructure

A number of states are embracing the electric vehicle revolution, enacting programs intended to boost EV use on our nation’s roads. Most recently, New Jersey, New York and California announced plans to invest in EV infrastructure. As EV-friendly measures continue to be enacted, innovative rate structures and smart charging can cushion the grid … [Read more...]

How Vital is Reliable Power? Puerto Rico’s 4,645 Deaths Offer an Answer

energy resilience

In its struggle to quantify energy resilience, the microgrid industry tends to focus on economic damages from power outages: Perished goods, lost sales, diminished worker hours. Now it has a new, disturbing data point: Loss of human life. A Harvard study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine estimates 4,645 deaths in … [Read more...]

Hawaii Looks to Microgrid Development After Lava Mangles Utility Equipment

microgrid development

Following the volcanic eruptions on Hawaii's Big Island — where poles and equipment have been damaged or destroyed by lava — both Hawaii Electric Light (HELCO) and the state are moving toward boosting microgrid development. The eruptions from the Kilauea Volcano began May 3 on the Big Island and continue, with lava mangling utility-owned … [Read more...]

Shouldn’t We Have More DC Microgrids?

DC microgrids

Direct current (DC) microgrids offer a lot of advantages in today's digitally networked, electrified world. Yet they face challenges gaining acceptance on the US grid where alternating current (AC) dominates. That's not to say DC isn't used. Much of the high-power electrical equipment and machinery used in industry, buildings and … [Read more...]

California Opens Door to Residential Microgrids for All New Homes with Efficiency Code

residential solar microgrid

California has opened the door for residential microgrids in all new homes with the recent release of 2019 building standards aimed at improving energy efficiency. Issued by the California Energy Commission, the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards require solar photovoltaics for all new homes. They also provide new home builders with … [Read more...]

Puerto Rico Issues Final Microgrid Rules as Hurricane Season Looms

microgrid cybersecurity

Puerto Rico regulators on Friday issued final microgrid rules to help boost development, as the island continues to struggle to recover from last September’s island-wide power outage following Hurricane Maria. The rules (CEPR-MI-2018-0001) arrived in a speedier fashion than the norm for energy regulation, with just five months between draft … [Read more...]

Message to FERC: Think Beyond Bulk Power to Achieve Grid Resilience

grid resilience

Several groups are urging FERC to give microgrids and distributed energy resources a place at the table as it searches for ways to improve electric grid resilience on the bulk power system. The groups offered input recently as part of a proceeding (AD18-7-000) that FERC opened after rejecting U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s push to subsidize … [Read more...]

100% Renewable Microgrid for Sweden’s Rural Community of Simris

renewable microgrid

In the rural town of Simris in the South of Sweden, E.ON, a large European utility company, has been testing the islanding of a 100 percent renewable microgrid. Remote areas of Northern Scandinavia experience harsh winter storms, with falling trees causing damage to overhead power lines, resulting in power outages. Reliable microgrids that … [Read more...]

Let’s Count the Many Ways Microgrids Serve the Greater Good

microgrids serve the greater good

If you think of microgrids as mere backup power, think again. That was the message from panelists at Microgrid 2018 who described how microgrids serve the greater good in the U.S and abroad. Their projects include electrifying parts of Somalia, helping prevent brain drain in Africa and India, cost-effectively solving a utility’s peak problems in … [Read more...]

Microgrid Industry Built on the Burning Platform of the Day: Microgrid 2018

microgrid industry

How important to the growth of the microgrid industry are storms and disasters? That was one of the questions panelists addressed at Microgrid 2018, a conference that drew about 400 participants to Chicago. The panelists also identified cost as a barrier to growth, but some offered innovative solutions to cost challenges. Another presentation … [Read more...]