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...]

US builder plans 200,000 home microgrids using zinc batteries

The number of home microgrid communities is picking up, spurred by natural disasters, increasing energy prices and a desire to combat climate change. For example, energy costs were the main driver for the Silvies Valley Ranch outside of Burns, Oregon, where off-grid microgrids for each of 600 homes under development makes more financial … [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...]

A solar microgrid changes the lives of Puerto Ricans struggling without power and water

It’s unusual for solar microgrids to spark tears of happiness. But that’s what happened in a small mountain community in Puerto Rico. Even before Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, the community of La Montana — located in the mountains within the town of Yauco — didn’t have grid power because of its remote location and rough terrain. And after … [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...]

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...]

Microgrids for Agriculture: Simple and Practical Energy Solutions

Energy reliability and the rising costs of electricity are among the energy challenges facing food growers and producers today. These challenges are driving the need for simple and practical solutions that provide the agriculture industry with on-site, clean power generation. An energy-as-a-service microgrid offers a simple solution for the … [Read more...]

Microgrids and EVs can make magic with the right market signals

Electric vehicles (EVs) could become important microgrid assets that reap income by providing grid services. But there's a glitch — a lack of market signals from the grid in many places. However, a growing number of cities and other organizations are pairing EVs and vehicle-to-grid programs with microgrids to test the idea, expecting to reap not … [Read more...]