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...]

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...]

PJM Begins Process to Study How Utility Connected Microgrids Fit in its Market

utility connected microgrids

The PJM Interconnection has begun a process to explore the role of utility connected microgrids in the organization’s wholesale power market. The process “is part of a general effort to make sure PJM rules can accommodate all types of cases and resources and make sure there is nothing that prohibits incorporating microgrids,” Andrew Levitt, … [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...]

Utility Microgrids: Don’t Let the Meter Get in the Way of Benefits

utility microgrids

This is the latest in a series of articles focusing on ideas that emerged from Microgrid 2019, held in San Diego May 14-16. Here we look at how to make the most out of utility microgrids. Utility microgrids can yield numerous benefits to customers and communities, especially as prosumers bring new technologies and sources of power to the grid … [Read more...]

Duke Energy and the No Controversy Microgrid: Hot Springs

Hot Springs Microgrid

Again Duke Energy has scored an easy microgrid win, this time for the Hot Springs Microgrid in Madison County, which won approval last week from the North Carolina Utilities Commission. In February, the commission canceled a scheduled evidentiary hearing on the microgrid due to lack of controversy. Similarly, in 2017, Duke's 10-kW Mt. … [Read more...]

Eversource Takes Local Energy Concept to New Level with New Hampshire Microgrid Plan

energy storage microgrid

Eversource plans to develop an energy storage microgrid in New Hampshire that takes the local energy concept to a new level by pairing the microgrid with a bring-your-own-device program. The project also offers an example of a path for utilities to develop microgrids when state rules allow utility ownership of energy storage. Charlotte … [Read more...]

Utilities are Giving Microgrids the Jolt They Need to Get Up and Going

microgrids

This is the first in a series of articles focusing on ideas that emerged from Microgrid 2019, held in San Diego May 14-16. Here we look at "The Great Debate: What’s the Utility Role in Microgrids?" Until recently, the power industry focused almost solely on generating and delivering electricity through a centralized system. But changing times and … [Read more...]