Are California Utilities Heading Down the Wrong Path as Wildfire Season Approaches?

wildfires

A new report warns that California may be heading down the wrong path when it comes to preparing its grid for wildfires and points to microgrids as a better solution. Utilities are proposing a range of costly investments to the central grid that may take decades, which still leave “substantial risk” for power outages, says “California’s … [Read more...]

Cheaper, Cleaner, More Reliable: Australia Grid Operator Proposes Off-Grid Microgrids in Remote Areas

Australia

Giles Parkinson of One Step Off the Grid explains a proposal released today by Australia's chief grid operator to replace large swaths of transmission and distribution with off-grid microgrids and solar plus storage. In a landmark development, Australia’s principal energy rule maker has paved the way for network operators to sever the … [Read more...]

The US Military Is Mission Ready: Why it Will Succeed Building Microgrids

Military microgrids

This is the latest in a series of articles focusing on ideas that emerged from Microgrid 2019, held in San Diego May 14-16. Here we look at what it takes to develop military microgrids that keep power flowing to bases for at least 14 days during a catastrophe. When the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar near San Diego moved to use landfill … [Read more...]

Utility Microgrids: Don’t Let the Meter Get in the Way of Benefits

utility microgrids

This is the latest in a series of articles focusing on ideas that emerged from Microgrid 2019, held in San Diego May 14-16. Here we look at how to make the most out of utility microgrids. Utility microgrids can yield numerous benefits to customers and communities, especially as prosumers bring new technologies and sources of power to the grid … [Read more...]

Who Pays on a Decentralized Grid? New York Tackles the Equity Problem with New Rates

standby and buyback rates

The New York Public Service Commission recently revamped utility standby and buyback rates to tackle the vexing problem of ratepayer equity in an age of distributed energy. The changes represent the next iteration in the state’s efforts to encourage wider adoption of clean energy while bringing rates more in line with market forces, all part … [Read more...]

Duke Energy and the No Controversy Microgrid: Hot Springs

Hot Springs Microgrid

Again Duke Energy has scored an easy microgrid win, this time for the Hot Springs Microgrid in Madison County, which won approval last week from the North Carolina Utilities Commission. In February, the commission canceled a scheduled evidentiary hearing on the microgrid due to lack of controversy. Similarly, in 2017, Duke's 10-kW Mt. … [Read more...]

BEST Act: Could this be Energy Storage’s SunShot?

legislation

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rep. Tina Smith (D-Minn) introduced energy storage legislation this week that calls for a $300 million initiative to build five advanced, grid-scale systems across the country. Under the Better Energy Storage Technology Act (BEST), the Department of Energy would invest $60 million a year from 2020 through … [Read more...]

Eversource Takes Local Energy Concept to New Level with New Hampshire Microgrid Plan

energy storage microgrid

Eversource plans to develop an energy storage microgrid in New Hampshire that takes the local energy concept to a new level by pairing the microgrid with a bring-your-own-device program. The project also offers an example of a path for utilities to develop microgrids when state rules allow utility ownership of energy storage. Charlotte … [Read more...]

Utilities are Giving Microgrids the Jolt They Need to Get Up and Going

microgrids

This is the first in a series of articles focusing on ideas that emerged from Microgrid 2019, held in San Diego May 14-16. Here we look at "The Great Debate: What’s the Utility Role in Microgrids?" Until recently, the power industry focused almost solely on generating and delivering electricity through a centralized system. But changing times and … [Read more...]

Legislation Proposes Federal Tax Credits for Microgrids in US

microgrid tax credits

Microgrids would be eligible for federal clean energy investment or production tax credits under a bill recently introduced by US Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. Wyden’s bill proposes to simplify long-term, performance-based energy tax incentives, replacing a jumble of 44 incentives that exist today. The bill strives for a technology-neutral … [Read more...]