Should All Utility Customers Pay for EV Infrastructure and Microgrids?

rate-based microgrids

An accord signed by a range of stakeholders this week opens the door toward rate-based EV infrastructure, which raises the question: Should rate-based microgrids be next? Endorsed by automakers, utilities, labor groups, consumer advocates, and environmental organizations, the Transportation Electrification Accord creates a roadmap for … [Read more...]

Two Models, Two Outcomes for Demand Response in PJM, California

demand response in PJM

Two different models yielded two very different outcomes for demand response in PJM territory and California recently. The results illuminate the pros and cons of how distributed energy resources are treated in both markets. In PJM’s most recent annual capacity auction, for delivery in 2021-2022, demand response was a big winner, with PJM … [Read more...]

Michigan’s Largest Utility to Propose Virtual Power Plants and Renewables in IRP

virtual power plants

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, plans to unveil an integrated resource plan (IRP) this week that elevates virtual power plants as a means to meet new energy needs. Virtual power plants aggregate distributed energy resources and orchestrate their operation via a central control system.  Due to the Michigan Public Service … [Read more...]

Postcard from the Future: Latest on How States are Preparing the Grid for Electric Vehicles

EV infrastructure

A number of states are embracing the electric vehicle revolution, enacting programs intended to boost EV use on our nation’s roads. Most recently, New Jersey, New York and California announced plans to invest in EV infrastructure. As EV-friendly measures continue to be enacted, innovative rate structures and smart charging can cushion the grid … [Read more...]

Hawaii Looks to Microgrid Development After Lava Mangles Utility Equipment

microgrid development

Following the volcanic eruptions on Hawaii's Big Island — where poles and equipment have been damaged or destroyed by lava — both Hawaii Electric Light (HELCO) and the state are moving toward boosting microgrid development. The eruptions from the Kilauea Volcano began May 3 on the Big Island and continue, with lava mangling utility-owned … [Read more...]

California Opens Door to Residential Microgrids for All New Homes with Efficiency Code

residential solar microgrid

California has opened the door for residential microgrids in all new homes with the recent release of 2019 building standards aimed at improving energy efficiency. Issued by the California Energy Commission, the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards require solar photovoltaics for all new homes. They also provide new home builders with … [Read more...]

How New Models, Not More Funding, Can Boost the Microgrid Market

microgrid market

New models — not more government funding — will drive the microgrid market forward. That’s what panelists and representatives from innovative cities and states said at a discussion during Microgrid 2018, "How to Elevate Microgrids in Government Resilience and Climate Strategies." Moderator David Chiesa, director of global business development … [Read more...]

History of Energy in Illinois Starts and Ends with Renewables-Based Microgrids

renewable-based microgrids

Back in the 1890s, Samuel Insull, the founder of Commonwealth Edison, began providing energy in Illinois with renewables-based microgrids. More than a century later, Illinois is once again embracing renewables-based microgrids, with a handful of the most innovative microgrids now being developed and launched in Chicago. That was the engaging … [Read more...]

Microgrid Industry Built on the Burning Platform of the Day: Microgrid 2018

microgrid industry

How important to the growth of the microgrid industry are storms and disasters? That was one of the questions panelists addressed at Microgrid 2018, a conference that drew about 400 participants to Chicago. The panelists also identified cost as a barrier to growth, but some offered innovative solutions to cost challenges. Another presentation … [Read more...]

Bringing Stability to War-Torn Somalia with Solar Microgrids

solar microgrids

Beleaguered by famine, terrorism and war, Somalia has the added burden of some of the highest energy costs in the world. But now relief is coming in the form of solar microgrids for refugees and communities thanks to an East African company. SolarGen Technologies is on a mission to help stabilize the country of 12 million people, using solar … [Read more...]