Threat of Wildfires and Power Shutdowns Heightens Urgency for Microgrid in California Community

power shutdowns

Recent power shutdowns by Pacific Gas &Electric (PGE) -- and the likelihood of more to come -- has renewed the urgency of a microgrid feasibility study being carried out for the Northern California City of Calistoga. California utilities undertake the shutdowns, known as Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) when wildfire risk heightens. … [Read more...]

$39 Million of Microgrid Funding for Tribal Lands

tribal microgrids

Six tribal microgrids will be built on Native American lands via a $39 million investment from the tribes and federal Indian energy funds. The microgrids -- four "shovel-ready" microgrids for communities and two for facilities — are part of 14 tribal energy infrastructure projects awarded money via the US Department of Energy's Office of … [Read more...]

First in the Nation Municipal Microgrid Program Advances Toward Final Goal Line

municipal microgrids

Three microgrid projects are advancing through the final stages of review, approval and funding in the fourth and final round of Connecticut's pioneering grant program for municipal microgrids. The projects — for a hospital, small town and naval base — are the last of 13 that won funding in four solicitations. Nine of the other microgrid … [Read more...]

Panasonic and Indian Utility Team up to Roll Out Urban Microgrids

urban microgrids

Panasonic and Indian electricity utility group BYPL recently installed four solar-plus-storage-based urban microgrids on rooftops at the utility's offices in the Delhi region, piloting what development partners expect will be many more to come. The partnership's microgrids offer 5-7 kW of solar with daily battery energy storage capacity … [Read more...]

History of Microgrids in the US: From Pearl Street to Plug-and-Play

history of microgrids

While it may seem that microgrids are new, the history of microgrids shows they have been around in some form for years in the US — although they haven’t always been called microgrids. The first one was introduced by Thomas Edison in 1882 at his Pearl Street Station, which combined heat and power and produced electricity and thermal … [Read more...]

Utilities Propose Resiliency Adders that Could Benefit California Microgrids

resiliency adders

As California braces for a hot summer and another wildfire season, the state’s two largest utilities have put forward proposals aimed at mitigating those risks, including "resiliency adders," incentives that could encourage the development of microgrids. Both Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison (SCE) have petitioned the … [Read more...]

Leveraging Federal Microgrids to Provide Community-Scale Resiliency Benefits

Nicole Bulgarino of Ameresco explores the benefits of federal microgrids, and how they have the potential to enhance resiliency for the broader communities surrounding federal facilities. The federal government has been at the forefront of distributed energy for the last decade, supported by executive orders and Department of Defense (DoD) … [Read more...]

Solar Housing Linked to Bronzeville Microgrid Provides Social Justice, Technology Research

Bronzeville Microgrid

Chicago's Bronzeville microgrid project is demonstrating the social justice benefits of decentralized energy with the completion this month of solar installations on 660 residential units in the Dearborn Homes Community. The project, a partnership of Exelon subsidiary Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), developer VLV Development and the Chicago Housing … [Read more...]

With California’s Wildfire Season Coming, San Diego Microgrids Face Two-Year Delay

microgrids

As California’s wildfire season approaches, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) faces regulatory delays of up to two years for 100 MW of proposed storage-backed microgrids that aim to provide resiliency, especially to protect essential community services. “As a utility company, our mandate and charge is to provide safe and reliable … [Read more...]

Are California Utilities Heading Down the Wrong Path as Wildfire Season Approaches?

wildfires

A new report warns that California may be heading down the wrong path when it comes to preparing its grid for wildfires and points to microgrids as a better solution. Utilities are proposing a range of costly investments to the central grid that may take decades, which still leave “substantial risk” for power outages, says “California’s … [Read more...]