Puerto Rico Approves Utility Plan with Microgrid Mandate

After two years of debate and planning, Puerto Rico finally appears positioned to re-create its electric grid with microgrids and renewable energy, mandated in a new utility integrated resource plan (IRP). The mandate came from the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau, the island’s chief energy regulator, in late August. Utility IRPs are guiding … [Read more...]

Engineering Group Sees Increase in Power Outages, Costs

Power outages — a key driver for microgrids — are becoming more frequent and costly, according to a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In this decade, there is a $135 billion “investment gap” for generation, $24.4 billion for transmission and $48.8 billion for the distribution system, the ASCE said in its report, … [Read more...]

How Government Support Can Work Against Microgrids

Distributed energy resources make up the bulk of any microgrid. So incentives for DERs will mean more microgrids, right? Not necessarily, says Peter Asmus, research director at Guidehouse, who explains his new research on DERs in microgrids. As a bonus, Asmus also offers insight into Covid-19's impact on the microgrid market in this interview with … [Read more...]

On Cue, Blackouts Roll Across California after Google and Others Press for More Microgrids

As if to underscore the point, power blackouts rolled across California late last week right after dozens of  stakeholders urged state regulators to push harder to get more microgrids built. Hundreds of thousands of Californians lost power Friday and Saturday night when electric demand exceeded supply because of extreme heat. Utilities imposed … [Read more...]

What Can Regulators and Utilities Do to Boost Solar Nanogrids?

This portion of a  new special report series looks at utility and regulatory changes across the nation that could push solar nanogrids to the forefront of energy innovation.  In spite of the many challenges that nanogrids address, their growth is limited by regulatory and utility hurdles that prevent nanogrid owners from realizing their many … [Read more...]

Local Governments Want Communities — not Utilities — to Control Microgrids in California

A coalition representing 14 cities and 23 counties in California this week urged state regulators to give communities a chance to control community microgrid pilots and not restrict them to utilities. The Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition (LG) said the state’s current “top down” approach — which puts utilities in charge of … [Read more...]

Canada’s Prince Edward Island Plans $18.5M Microgrid to Ease Electricity Costs

Prince Edward Island today announced plans for a $18.53 (CA$24.5) million microgrid project to ease Covid-19 related financial hardships by reducing energy costs for those that live on the island. Called the Slemon Park Microgrid Project, the 10-MW solar-storage facility will boost renewable energy use on Prince Edward Island by 3.5% and … [Read more...]

What Isaias Laid Bare about the East Coast’s Progress — or Lack of — on Energy Resilience

Isaias’ punch to the East Coast last week in many ways resembled that of Superstorm Sandy, the storm that eight years ago launched a drive for microgrids to ward off power outages. So it naturally raises the question, When it comes to electric reliability, how far has the East Coast come since Sandy?  By the outage numbers, not far. … [Read more...]

How Well does the Energy Industry Serve People of Color?

The energy industy (both fossil and renewable) is failing to provide benefits to people of color, and in many instances undermining the health of this community. That was one of the messages from a group of medical, energy and poverty experts who spoke at Race and Energy, a webinar presented this week by Pecan Street, a data research and … [Read more...]

FEMA Offers $500M in Resilience Grants. An Opportunity for Microgrids & DERs?

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced a $500 million infrastructure grant program that offers opportunities for microgrids, energy storage, backup power, and other advanced energy solutions. Through the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program, the agency seeks infrastructure projects that … [Read more...]