How Many Microgrids Are There Exactly?

Trying to determine how many microgrids exist in the world is not easy. No central registry exists. And while some microgrids receive global publicity, others are quietly operating in places as far-flung as the remote Himalayas. Navigant Research has been hard at work trying to track down exactly how many microgrids are out there. The research … [Read more...]

Will the New Solar Tariffs Hurt the Microgrid Industry? Yes and No

Energy insiders offered mixed views this week about how new solar tariffs imposed by the Trump administration will impact the microgrid industry. The tariff on imported solar panels and cells came in response to complaints from two foreign-owned solar companies operating in the US. The companies said they were forced into bankruptcy as a … [Read more...]

Choosing the Type of Microgrid that is Right for Your Operation

So you’ve decided that your operation needs a microgrid. But what type of microgrid? Answering that question isn’t always easy because microgrids come in many different permutations, often customized to the business, factory, hospital, university, community or other operation they serve. But they do fall into certain broad categories, sliced … [Read more...]

Maine Business Park Seeks Partners for Green Microgrid Development

Brunswick Landing, a business park at a former naval air station in Maine, is looking for an experienced partner to help with microgrid development as part of its larger plan to become a green technology center. Located in Brunswick on the southern Maine coast, the 3,200-acre campus now supplies its customers with only green energy. More than … [Read more...]

Why Arizona Public Service Sees Microgrid Investments as Risk Worthy

Utilities are notoriously risk adverse. So why did Arizona Public Service (APS) take a chance on microgrid investments, not once but twice? By take a chance, we mean the utility chose to install two microgrids without getting pre-approval for cost recovery from state regulators. So if the Arizona Public Service Commission now disapproves the … [Read more...]

How the World Defines Microgrids and Why You are Confused

Microgrid, minigrid, picogrid… All this tiny terminology can add up to some big confusion. Even the industry itself defines microgrids in different ways. Microgrids, minigrids and picogrids have some things in common: they are all locally generated, locally distributed sources of clean energy. Is it all just a matter of to-MAY-to, … [Read more...]

How the Microgrid Industry Changed in 2016: A Ben & Jerry’s Year

Consider 2016 a Ben & Jerry’s year for the microgrid industry. Microgrids expanded, not just in number, but in flavor. Plain vanilla microgrids gave way to a range of new kinds: virtual microgrids, blockchain microgrids, even flying microgrids, to name a few. Product differentiation reigned in 2016. But worldwide geographic expansion … [Read more...]

Guess Which North American Microgrid Market is Growing Fastest?

The fastest-growing North American microgrid market surprised even the Navigant researchers who uncovered it in a report, “Market Data: Microgrids.” Public utilities took the prize, growing at 45.2 percent, which is the compounded annual growth rate of annual deployments between 2015 and 2024. “For North America, the biggest surprise over the … [Read more...]

Pittsburgh Plans Grid of Microgrids; Wins Smart City Money

Pittsburgh’s smart city project, one that includes a grid of microgrids, last week won an $11 million grant from the Department of Transportation for certain transportation features of the plan. The Pennsylvania city plans to create spines throughout the city that interconnect smart energy, transportation and communications. A goal is to improve … [Read more...]

How to Pay for Utility Microgrids? Arizona May Offer Answers

An issue puzzling the power industry – how to pay for utility microgrids – is being taken up in a rate case now underway before the Arizona Corporation Commission. Arizona Public Service (APS), the state’s largest utility, seeks to recover costs for two microgrids, a 63-MW data center microgrid and a 25-MW military microgrid. The utility made … [Read more...]