Lowly Home Electric Panel Transformed for Nanogrid World

With homes suddenly the center of US business activity due to stay at home orders, interest is heightening in residential nanogrids. So the timing is fortuitous for a new smart panel announced today that promises to up the abilities of nanogrids and home on-site energy. Span, a San Francisco-based company led by executives and lead engineers … [Read more...]

Updated: What Worked and What Didn’t at Six School Microgrids in California

Salinas, California set out out to build six school microgrids two years ago as models for others. Today the project offers what schools do best — lessons — but not only about its successes. The project developers are talking about their challenges, an all too uncommon, but valuable gift to a rapidly growing industry that needs to know what can … [Read more...]

Remote Microgrid Built by Alliant Energy Cuts Utility Costs by Half

Alliant Energy has built a remote microgrid to power a Wisconsin state park as a less expensive alternative to replacing an overhead power line. The microgrid at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) site could become a model for other Alliant microgrids, according to Michael Graves, Alliant senior engineer. “We’ll monitor how … [Read more...]

How BUGS Leave an Opening for Solar Plus Storage Globally

A major opportunity exists for small, solar plus storage systems to replace gasoline or diesel backup generators that cause detriment to the environment worldwide, according to research funded by an arm of the World Bank Group. Between 1 to 2 billion people do not have access to a reliable power grid, making back-up generation systems (BUGS) … [Read more...]

What’s the Ideal Way for the Microgrid Industry to Come Back from COVID-19?

Clean energy advocates are floating a range of ideas to stimluate post COVID-19 microgrid growth — from tax credits to relief funds to support for electrification of rural hospitals. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) and Alliance for Rural Electrification … [Read more...]

Which Power Systems Boost City Resilience — and for How Long?

Which power systems boost city resilience during power outages — and for how long? Answering that question is one of the objectives of a report from American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Community Resilience Planning and Clean Energy Initiatives The report rates cities based on their resilience efforts, including … [Read more...]

City/Utility Partnership Leads to Microgrid at Fire Station in Portland, Oregon

The city of Portland, with financial support from Portland General Electric (PGE), has installed a fire station microgrid that will not only ensure power for crucial services, but also train emergency workers in use of the technology. The project, at Fire Station 1, is one of three microgrid projects by PGE, which is seeking resiliency, … [Read more...]

Rural Neighborhood Chooses Off-Grid Microgrids Instead of Paying the Utility

For the Silvies Valley Ranch outside of Burns, Oregon, off-grid microgrids for each of 600 homes under development makes more financial sense than paying the local utility $7 million to run utility lines to the ranch. The eco-friendly ranch and luxury resort, formerly a dude ranch, is located on 140,000 acres in eastern Oregon where visitors … [Read more...]

Xcel Energy to Build 7 Community Microgrids. Negotiating with Siemens and Fluence

Xcel Energy is seeking regulatory approval to move forward with seven microgrids, at a cost to the utility of $23.4 million, chosen from a community resilience solicitation that the Colorado utility issued in May. The microgrids will serve the Denver International Airport Automated Guideway Transit System; National Western Center; Denver Rescue … [Read more...]

Yes, Solar Plus Storage is Cost Effective

Ryan Shea and Madeline Tyson of Rocky Mountain Institute show why commercial customers paying demand charges and time-of-use rates should seriously consider an investment in solar plus storage, a common technology used in microgrids. As shown in a recent RMI report, battery energy storage costs are less than a fifth of what they were a … [Read more...]