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...]

Texas Crisis Reveals the Grid’s Complications

The recent Texas disaster  has accelerated the conversation about creating a clean, resilient grid. But much work needs to be done to achieve that goal, according to three speakers who participated in a the recent Pecan Street webinar, "Addressing Technology Roadblocks to Clean Energy Adoption.” Pecan Street conducts research aimed at … [Read more...]

The Texas Grid is the Latest Too-Big-to-Fail Story

Blame is being assigned at warp speed for the massive power outages on the Texas grid, but the most basic danger isn’t being discussed: Big grids by their nature are prone to big failures. That’s not to say we should do away with large grids — they offer an efficient way to deliver power to many people over a dispersed geography. But as … [Read more...]

Texas on the Verge of an Energy Catastrophe: How Microgrids are Helping

The electric grid has been around for nearly 140 years, but it’s yet to overcome its biggest nemesis: the weather. Texas is showcasing that point this week as it suddenly rivals California in proving the need for microgrids. What happened in Texas and how bad is it? Very bad. Struggling to keep the grid from collapse, the grid operator … [Read more...]

Energy Industry Players Moving out of their Swim Lanes

New business models — such as utility use of mobile batteries for peak demand — are now emerging, along with new and needed distributed energy resource (DER) integration models, according to two new reports from Deloitte. Markets aren’t providing enough compensation for distributed energy resources (DER) which is blocking their expansion on the … [Read more...]

PJM Close to New Rules for Utility-Owned Microgrids

The PJM Interconnection is getting close to approving rules governing microgrids operated by distribution utilities or third parties on their behalf — what it calls public distribution microgrids. After being approved by various stakeholder panels, the PJM’s Markets and Reliability Committee (MRC) is set to review the proposed rules at a … [Read more...]

How to Make FERC 2222 Work for Microgrids

FERC 2222 presents promise  — but also challenges — for the US microgrid industry, according to energy policy experts who spoke this week at Microgrid 2020 Global, a virtual onference that attracted more than 4,300 people. The federal order, expected to pave the way for aggregated distributed energy resources (DERs) to compete with … [Read more...]