US’ Largest County — Los Angeles — Proposes Agency to Support Microgrids in a Large Swath of California 

The County of Los Angeles last week made an eye-opening proposal — a $41 million program that includes a regional microgrid agency to serve an area that encompasses roughly half of California’s population. The county hopes to do for microgrids what a similar initiative, Southern California Regional Energy Network County (SoCalREN), did for … [Read more...]

What Role Do Microgrids Play in the Biden Administration’s 40% Solar Vision?

A new Department of Energy (DOE) report, which finds that solar could account for about 40% of the US electricity supply by 2035, offers a vision of the role microgrids would play on an increasingly renewable grid. “We can no longer look at solar technologies in isolation — we must look at how they interact with the full energy system,” Becca … [Read more...]

Microgrid Advocates Push Back as Utility Challenges Standby Rate Change

Responding to a utility rehearing request, microgrid advocates are urging California regulators to uphold their decision to slash a major part of standby charges for eligible microgrids, highlighting the role microgrids play in protecting Californians as utilities shut down power to prevent wildfires. The issue, now before the California … [Read more...]

How Many Hurricanes Must Slam the Grid Before We Get the Message? 

The electric grid’s dysfunctional relationship with hurricanes offers a new twist on the Humpty-Dumpty story. Again and again when fierce storms like Hurricane Ida topple wires and poles, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men do put the grid back together again. But with the next big blow, down it goes. So it was head-scratching this … [Read more...]

Utility Asks California Agency to Reverse Decision Waiving Standby Charges for Microgrids

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) this week asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to reverse its decision to waive a key component of standby charges for microgrids, saying it creates an illegal cost shift between customer groups. The issue centers on the commission's mid-July decision to suspend the capacity … [Read more...]

California Looks to Bigger, More Complex Microgrids as It Faces Capacity Shortfalls

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) made two big moves on microgrids this week, opening a proceeding to tackle the thorny issue of multiproperty microgrids, while also launching a fast-track investigation into how microgrids can help the state overcome immediate energy capacity shortfalls — a response to an emergency proclamation by … [Read more...]

Anticipating Triple Digit DER Growth, California Launches New Action Plan

In a move that could affect microgrids, the California Public Utilities Commission is developing a sweeping DER Action Plan aimed at revamping policies, programs and incentives. The commission in 2016 approved its first DER Action Plan, which served as a five-year roadmap for coordinating activities across commission proceedings aimed at … [Read more...]

Report Calls for Change as Town Center Microgrids Run into Roadblocks

Town center, or TC microgrid, projects in the Northeast have foundered in the face of regulatory, statutory and technical challenges, according to a report written for the New Jersey Bureau of Public Utilities (NJBPU). “Town center microgrids are one conceptual solution for community emergency-power resilience and reliability needs but face … [Read more...]

Latest US Infrastructure Bill Continues to Champion Microgrids, Resilience and Remote Communities

The bipartisan infrastructure bill — which mentions microgrids five times — would pump billions of dollars into the US grid, partly to bolster reliability and resilience. Unveiled Aug. 1, the roughly $1.2 trillion bill is a slimmed down version of legislation floated by the White House in late March. The much-awaited bill includes about … [Read more...]

How Are California’s PSPS Policies Failing to Stem Fire Damage? SimpliPhi Power Explains

Catherine Von Burg, CEO and president of SimpliPhi Power, provides hard facts to demonstrate how California PSPS  — public safety power shutoffs — don’t go far enough to keep people safe during wildfire season. “In California, PSPS are being marketed as a way to keep the public safe by shutting off the power to prevent forest fires,” said Von … [Read more...]