California Offers New Proposal to Break Down Barriers to Microgrids

Staff at the California Public Utilities Commission released a proposal last week that calls for a new microgrid pilot program, a special tariff for microgrids, and other measures to overcome barriers to microgrid development. The proposal comes in the second phase of a commission proceeding to help commercialize microgrids. The first phase … [Read more...]

California Regulators Approve Changes to Support Microgrids as State Braces for Wildfire Season

Microgrids are getting a boost in California with an eye toward accelerating deployments in advance of the 2020 wildfire season thanks to actions voted on today by the California Public Utilities Commission. The commission ordered a number of short-term modifications that large investor-owned utilities must implement immediately: Accelerate … [Read more...]

California to Include Avoided Transmission Costs in DER Benefits Calculation

The California Public Utilities Commission has agreed to consider avoided transmission costs for the state’s three investor-owned utilities as part of its cost-benefit analysis for distributed energy resources (DERs). The issue centers on the PUC’s “avoided cost calculator,” or ACC, a methodology used to determine the benefits of DERs that … [Read more...]

CHP Microgrid Can Serve Needs of 26,000 at College When Grid is Down

A combined heat and power (CHP) microgrid operated by Veolia can supply 100% of the power needed for the 26,000 people at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California, switching into island mode automatically when the grid is down. The CHP microgrid, which has been operating for six years, is an example of how colleges and other … [Read more...]

CAISO Confident Microgrids Can Move through Review Process before California’s Fire Season

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) is confident its existing rules and processes will allow planned microgrids and resiliency projects to be built before the next wildfire season. CAISO’s rules and procedures can handle the microgrids recently proposed by the state’s investor-owned utilities to help prevent planned power … [Read more...]

Utility Microgrids Come to California with Speed — and Invention

Utility microgrids are coming to California — and fast — according to plans filed before state regulators last week by the state’s three investor-owned utilities. At the urging of the public utilities commission, the utilities are trying to install microgrids quickly, many in 2020, to reduce power outages when the next wildfire season … [Read more...]

With California’s Wildfire Season Coming, San Diego Microgrids Face Two-Year Delay

As California’s wildfire season approaches, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) faces regulatory delays of up to two years for 100 MW of proposed storage-backed microgrids that aim to provide resiliency, especially to protect essential community services. “As a utility company, our mandate and charge is to provide safe and reliable … [Read more...]

Move Over, Lithium Ion: Thermal Energy Storage Finds a Niche

Thermal storage is gaining ground in refrigeration applications, providing demand management for one of utilities’ most energy-intensive industries. Industrial refrigeration consumes more energy per cubic foot than any other utility load, said Collin Coker, vice president, sales and marketing, Viking Cold Solutions. Thermal energy storage … [Read more...]

SDGE Plans to Release an RFP Seeking a Microgrid Controller

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDGE) plans to release a request for proposals (RFP) next month seeking a microgrid controller to help it manage energy storage and renewable energy. The California utility issued a notice Tuesday signaling the upcoming RFP, scheduled for release Wednesday, December 21. The utility seeks microgrid … [Read more...]

San Diego Zoo Adds Storage to its Energy Menagerie

San Diego Zoo Global has chosen a unit of EDF Renewables North America to provide a 1 MW/4 MWh energy storage system that is designed to reduce energy costs while limiting emissions at the zoo. The zoo will use the storage project to smooth spikes in energy usage, thereby, lowering demand charges. The system will also minimize energy costs by … [Read more...]