Too Few Microgrids for Puerto Rico? Or Too Many? Depends on Who You Ask

microgrids

With 1.1 million people still without power, Puerto Rico finds itself forced to quickly answer questions about microgrids that much of the U.S. mainland has yet to tackle. How many microgrids are enough? What’s the utility role? What price should customers pay for microgrid power? How green should they be? And what defines a microgrid, … [Read more...]

Launch Alaska Funds Microgrid-Related Technology…Plus News from Australia and Maryland

microgrid-related technology

Microgrid-related technology wins Launch Alaska funds Launch Alaska has selected four companies, some with microgrid-related technology, to participate in its 2018 business accelerator in Anchorage, Alaska. The participants will complete a four-month intensive program and receive mentorship, business training, business services, and $75,000 in … [Read more...]

Can EV Infrastructure in California Keep Up with Adoption?

EV infrastructure in Califorina

California is on track to meet or surpass Gov. Brown’s earlier goal of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) by 2025. But EV infrastructure challenges could prevent the state from meeting his latest goal of 5 million ZEVs by 2030, says a report prepared for the think tank Next 10. Inadequate EV infrastructure could slow down adoption, says F. … [Read more...]

Can Utilities Rate Base Energy Storage as a Distribution Asset?

Rate Base Energy Storage

Can utilities rate base energy storage as a distribution asset? Texas is now tackling this big question, with the potential to set policy that could have national ramifications. The question arose when American Electric Power (AEP) asked the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas to approve its proposal to install numerous grid-scale batteries … [Read more...]

“Stale” Time-of-Use Rates May Undercut Benefits of Energy Storage in California

energy storage California

California's grid operator is considering a load shift product that could beat "stale" time-of-use rates in its ability to avoid greenhouse gases and generate income for energy storage system owners and operators. The problem, for storage system owners, is time-of-use rates are getting “stale,” and don’t represent what mix of fuels are producing … [Read more...]

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

microgrid industry

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 result … [Read more...]

Are Energy Storage Projects Qualifying Facilities? A “Shotgun Wedding” for PURPA

energy storage projects

What are energy storage projects under federal law? Are they eligible for certain favorable long-term contracts with utilities? Or are they subject to less attractive rules and regulations that apply to solar energy? That’s the question that Franklin Energy, which develops distributed energy resources, is asking in Idaho, where it has proposed … [Read more...]

What Will Become of the Electric Utility in the Age of Microgrids?

microgrids

What’s an electric utility? Better yet, what will it become? Those questions nag utilities -- and their competitors -- as technology disrupts the century-old power industry. Microgrids, electric vehicles, distributed energy resources (DERs), energy storage, the prosumer, blockchain will either upend utilities -- or bring them new opportunity -- … [Read more...]

Puerto Rico Wants Microgrids. But Will its Rules be too Rigid?

microgrids

José Román Morales, president of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission (PREC), is clear: Microgrid development is welcome in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico -- even before the commission’s just-released draft rules are finalized. “Right now, we need to get the country back on its feet,” he said, referring to the fact that in the wake of Hurricane … [Read more...]

Puerto Rico Wastes No Time Drafting Rules to Encourage Microgrid Development

microgrid development

Some believe Puerto Rico’s crushed power grid will emerge as a phoenix, out of the ashes becoming a global model for microgrid development. It’s hard to say yet if that will happen. But draft microgrid rules released last week by the Puerto Rico Energy Commission signal the island could be on the right track. First, note their speed of … [Read more...]