A Florida neighborhood tries out a microgrid like no other

The word "unique" gets attached to so many energy projects, it hardly has meaning anymore. But a new microgrid now operating near Tampa, Florida, lives up to the billing because of the technology it uses, the customers it serves, and the cost recovery structure it employs. Located in the Southshore Bay housing development in Hillsborough … [Read more...]

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...]

Microgrid projects to the moon and back

Developers say microgrid projects are being planned pretty much everywhere now. I suspect they mean everywhere on Earth. It turns out they are thinking small. Why not a microgrid on the moon? A US federal lab thinks it's plausible — and may even be necessary — if we are to venture further to Mars. The Sandia National Laboratories is … [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...]

With a leadership change at its microgrid helm, what’s next for Schneider?

Schneider Electric is one of the biggest and most influential players in the microgrid market. Mark Feasel, the person who guided the company’s rise in microgrids, departed the company last month, leaving people asking, "What’s next for Schneider?" The answer is Jana Gerber, who became president of the company’s North American microgrid … [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...]

Microgrids as the next duct tape: The military’s latest projects

In its quest to improve national security, the US military often inadvertently advances innovations that benefit us in everyday life. The military gets credit for microwaves, GPS and duct tape to name a few. It looks like future historians may add microgrids to the list. To be clear, the US military didn’t invent microgrids. Thomas Edison … [Read more...]

A nuclear microgrid? National lab sets out to test the idea

Microgrids use many kinds of energy, typically renewables, natural gas, diesel, fuel cells, batteries or combined heat and power. But we’ve yet to see a nuclear microgrid. Now the US’ top nuclear energy lab wants to change that. Idaho National Laboratory (INL), a Department of Energy (DOE) research facility, intends to build a prototype nuclear … [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...]

New York City energy veterans defend the home turf with microgrids

New York holds a special place in the hearts of microgridders because it was early to the game, rolling out a $40 million program to promote the technology eight years ago, back when the term microgrids was so new to the lexicon that spell-checkers were convinced you meant micrograms. Ultimately, the state program, known as NY Prize, was … [Read more...]