California to Release Solicitation for Mobile Microgrids to Help During Power Shutoffs

The California Energy Commission (CEC) plans in late December to release a $14 million solicitation for mobile microgrids that will provide resilience during grid outages related to public safety power shutoffs (PSPS). The commission wants to develop and demonstrate ways to increase resilience during grid outages using clean energy … [Read more...]

California Microgrids Flex Their Skills During Blackouts

California microgrids stepped up during the mid-August rolling blackouts, delivering flexible load and providing backup electricity, as extreme heat left the state short on power. Stone Edge Farm’s microgrid and three microgrids operated by Bloom Energy were among those that provided resiliency for their owners and community members on August … [Read more...]

California Utilities Expect No More than 30% Reduction in Wildfire-related Power Shutoffs

California’s largest utilities were called before state regulators last week to discuss their plans “to reduce the use, scope, and impact” of public safety power shutoffs (PSPS), the problematic practice of de-energizing power lines to minimize the risk of sparking wildfires. Though their individual territories dictate some customization, … [Read more...]

San Diego Utility Plans to Make Borrego Springs Microgrid Entirely Renewable

San Diego Gas & Electric plans to upgrade its Borrego Springs microgrid so that it can run entirely on renewable energy. SDG&E received a $4.5 million grant from the US Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office to buy smart power inverters, controls and a state-of-the-art energy management system. The utility is … [Read more...]

California Offers New Proposal to Break Down Barriers to Microgrids

Staff at the California Public Utilities Commission released a proposal last week that calls for a new microgrid pilot program, a special tariff for microgrids, and other measures to overcome barriers to microgrid development. The proposal comes in the second phase of a commission proceeding to help commercialize microgrids. The first phase … [Read more...]

California Regulators Approve Changes to Support Microgrids as State Braces for Wildfire Season

Microgrids are getting a boost in California with an eye toward accelerating deployments in advance of the 2020 wildfire season thanks to actions voted on today by the California Public Utilities Commission. The commission ordered a number of short-term modifications that large investor-owned utilities must implement immediately: Accelerate … [Read more...]

California to Include Avoided Transmission Costs in DER Benefits Calculation

The California Public Utilities Commission has agreed to consider avoided transmission costs for the state’s three investor-owned utilities as part of its cost-benefit analysis for distributed energy resources (DERs). The issue centers on the PUC’s “avoided cost calculator,” or ACC, a methodology used to determine the benefits of DERs that … [Read more...]

CHP Microgrid Can Serve Needs of 26,000 at College When Grid is Down

A combined heat and power (CHP) microgrid operated by Veolia can supply 100% of the power needed for the 26,000 people at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California, switching into island mode automatically when the grid is down. The CHP microgrid, which has been operating for six years, is an example of how colleges and other … [Read more...]

CAISO Confident Microgrids Can Move through Review Process before California’s Fire Season

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) is confident its existing rules and processes will allow planned microgrids and resiliency projects to be built before the next wildfire season. CAISO’s rules and procedures can handle the microgrids recently proposed by the state’s investor-owned utilities to help prevent planned power … [Read more...]

Utility Microgrids Come to California with Speed — and Invention

Utility microgrids are coming to California — and fast — according to plans filed before state regulators last week by the state’s three investor-owned utilities. At the urging of the public utilities commission, the utilities are trying to install microgrids quickly, many in 2020, to reduce power outages when the next wildfire season … [Read more...]