Pay microgrid owners to boost California’s grid? Credits and “price machines” proposed

Two separate proposals floated last week before California regulators open the door for financial incentives that would encourage microgrid owners to step in and help out when the electric grid is falling short. Fuel cell company Bloom Energy offered the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) a specific plan to provide credits to … [Read more...]

Why the power industry is jittery about the US electric grid this summer

Summer is always a jittery time for the power industry — the electric grid doesn’t like extreme heat. It likes hurricanes even less. But nervousness appears to be running higher than usual — and for good reason. Jim Robb, president and CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corp. summed it up well in the organization’s quarterly … [Read more...]

Hotel microgrids cut energy costs, meet demand from guests for sustainability

Travelers are looking for accommodations that meet sustainability goals, and a hotel microgrid can help meet that demand with financial help from federal incentives and participation in energy markets. Travelers have good reason to search for sustainable hotels. Because hotels operate 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and include refrigeration, … [Read more...]

Why this could be a tough winter for the US electric grid

When the folks who run the grid start to issue warnings about electric reliability, we all best sit up and take notice. They are not doomsayers or advocates for specific technologies, but the technicians who run the regional transmission organizations. They are tasked with the engineering challenge of ensuring that electric supply always … [Read more...]

Going Big on Renewable Natural Gas for Microgrids

Renewable natural gas, or RNG, is emerging as a new frontier for microgrids and a way to resolve one of the industry’s core dilemmas. How can it assure the lights stay on without relying on fossil fuels?   Business models are just beginning to emerge for renewable fuel microgrids. And Texas-based Enchanted Rock is one of the companies early … [Read more...]

What Do Customers Want from Microgrids?

Customers generally are looking for three things from microgrids: resiliency, cost savings and sustainability. After the Texas storm in February that crippled the state’s power system, potential customers became more aware of microgrids’ ability to operate through power outages. They also became more attuned to the problems associated with … [Read more...]

Texas Again Creates a Reminder of the Value of Microgrids

Four months after Texas endured five days of blackouts, the state is again at the brink of not having enough power to meet its needs, bringing another reminder of the value microgrids can bring to customers and to the wider grid. Instead of the effects of unusually cold weather that blanketed Texas and parts of the mid-continent in February, … [Read more...]

How Microgrids Will Change the Way Electricity Is Made, Delivered and Used

Microgrids — managed by sophisticated software — are part of a shift toward on-site power production, driven by businesses and organizations that want to control their own energy destiny, according to a group of panelists at the Microgrid 2021 conference. Growth in microgrids comes as customers increasingly look for solutions to various … [Read more...]

Depot-Based Electric Vehicles Like ‘Mobile Microgrids to Support the Grid’

Electric buses, delivery trucks and other fleet vehicles are like mobile microgrids that can help balance the grid, and their depots offer huge potential to reduce peak usage through demand response programs that also yield income. That’s the goal of CPower Energy Management, a distributed energy resource (DER) aggregator that recently … [Read more...]

What FERC Order 2222-A Means for Microgrids and Energy Democracy

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order No. 2222-A, released March 18, continues efforts by US regulators to remove barriers for aggregated distributed energy resources (DERs) in wholesale markets. And it may unlock new revenue streams for microgrids. That’s the word from Norman Bay, former chairman of FERC, who called the order … [Read more...]