Why the power industry is jittery about the US electric grid this summer

Summer is always a jittery time for the power industry — the electric grid doesn’t like extreme heat. It likes hurricanes even less. But nervousness appears to be running higher than usual — and for good reason. Jim Robb, president and CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corp. summed it up well in the organization’s quarterly … [Read more...]

Biden administration marries transmission and microgrid funding in $2.5 billion program

The Biden administration yesterday took the first step to allot $2.5 billion to increase transmission capacity and build microgrids in certain locations. With the release of a request for information, the administration kicked off a process to fund new or improved transmission line projects that offer 500 MW to 1,000 MW of capacity and build … [Read more...]

Russia doesn’t know it, but it just made a strong case for local energy

The worldwide headline today is that Russia is cutting natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria unless they pay in rubles, making energy, in essence, a weapon of war. European leaders described Russia's move as blackmail to undercut their support of Ukraine. Russia's actions make real the longtime worry that European countries are too … [Read more...]

San Jose, California mayor again pushes for energy independence with support of Google microgrid

The San Jose City Council voted this week to take the next step in reviewing a microgrid planned by Google, giving Mayor Sam Liccardo another victory in his quest for city energy independence. “We need dependable, resilient, reliable power, and microgrids are clearly a pathway to doing so for many communities,” Liccardo said during the April … [Read more...]

Group plans microgrid-based hydrogen highway in California

Around the world, more and more hydrogen microgrids are cropping up. For example, Gov. Kathy Hochul wants New York to become a green hydrogen hub and wants fuel cell microgrids — which use green hydrogen — to help it achieve this goal. NTPC, the largest utility in India, planned to construct the nation’s first stand-alone fuel cell … [Read more...]

US DOE to help 22 communities find infrastructure funds for microgrids and clean energy projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has opened the door for 22 communities to capture federal infrastructure funds for microgrids and other clean energy projects through a program that emphasizes “place-based approaches.” Called Communities LEAP (Local Energy Action Program), the initiative helps these cities, towns and tribes develop clean energy … [Read more...]

Movement on pro-microgrid legislation in Congress and Colorado

Last week brought movement on bills in Congress and the state of Colorado that could help bolster microgrids. With the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376) stalled, House Democrats in the US Congress last week tried another tactic to move climate legislation forward, this time seeking a path through the Defense Production Act. The act gives … [Read more...]

The connection between food, energy, war and microgrids

Food and energy are two closely linked commodities as recent price spikes make the world painfully aware.  In February, food made its highest 12-month price jump in 40 years. Meanwhile, energy prices rose more than any other commodity last year — before the Ukraine war — and continued to go up in 2022.  The war is prohibiting Ukraine, the … [Read more...]

Tribes win federal funding as they enhance energy security and pursue microgrids

Tribal communities across the United States are looking to enhance their energy security and resilience through microgrids. In California, for example, the Blue Lake Rancheria's tribal council began developing its microgrid in 2011 in an effort to support its community during extreme emergencies. The resilience provided by that tribal microgrid has … [Read more...]

Microgrid Talk: Energy politics and not poking the big bear

Energy is highly politicized. And as Jim Fonger, Canadian vice president at Ameresco, points out, that’s bad news for innovation.  Building new energy infrastructure takes a long time, much longer than the duration of political cycles. So energy technology gets caught up in a start/stop cycle as political parties … [Read more...]