Why Use Natural Gas in Microgrids?

natural gas-fired microgrids

We explore the advantages of natural gas-fired microgrids in part four of a six-part Microgrid Knowledge Special Report Series on the affordable microgrid. Microgrids can use a variety of generation sources: natural gas, diesel, flywheels, fuel cells, energy storage, solar panels and even wind turbines. Here we look at what natural gas … [Read more...]

Juhl Energy’s Journey from Utility-Scale Wind to Microgrids

microgrid finance

Juhl Energy has built its business around developing, owning and operating utility-scale wind. But market conditions have changed, and now the Minnesota company is expanding its reach, including into microgrid finance. Unregulated subsidiaries of large utilities have come to dominate utility-scale wind power in the US. That prompted Juhl … [Read more...]

Reliability-as-a-Service: What is an Affordable Microgrid?

reliability-as-a-service

This is part three of a six-part Microgrid Knowledge Special Report Series that highlights the rise of the reliability-as-a-service model and the onset of the affordable microgrid. This post focuses on how the reliability-as-a-service model paves the way for microgrid installation without high upfront costs and development and operational … [Read more...]

History of Energy in Illinois Starts and Ends with Renewables-Based Microgrids

renewable-based microgrids

Back in the 1890s, Samuel Insull, the founder of Commonwealth Edison, began providing energy in Illinois with renewables-based microgrids. More than a century later, Illinois is once again embracing renewables-based microgrids, with a handful of the most innovative microgrids now being developed and launched in Chicago. That was the engaging … [Read more...]

Rural NC Farm Cooperative Microgrid Increases Local Resilience

cooperative microgrid

Rural microgrids can improve local energy resilience and sustainability. One of these such rural microgrids — this time on a Harnett County, N.C., hog farm — was dedicated this past week in celebration of the project’s completion. The cooperative microgrid, which is expected to promote environmental sustainability and support the surrounding … [Read more...]

Biggest Stumbling Block to Microgrids? “We’ve Always Done it that Way”

stumbling blocks to microgrids

What is the biggest stumbling block to microgrids? It’s no longer cost or financing or technology. Instead, the problem is more human centric: Fear of change. That’s one of the insights Schneider Electric’s Kevin Self offered in an interview leading up to Microgrid 2018, underway this week in Chicago. Self, senior vice president strategy, … [Read more...]

Building a Microgrid Incrementally to Avoid Breaking the Budget

Ameresco

Michael Bakas, executive vice president of distributed energy systems at Ameresco, and Will Agate, president & founder of NetZero Microgrid Solutions, offer ideas on how to build a microgrid incrementally. Both Bakas and Agate are featured panelists at Microgrid 2018 this week in Chicago. Their companies have been working together on one of the … [Read more...]

Microgrid Market Growing, But Education about Benefits Needed

microgrid market

The microgrid market is growing — at different paces in different segments — but the industry needs to educate others about its benefits, according to leading industry members. “I would consider the current microgrid market to be highly diverse. There are opportunities to be involved in utility, building, campus, government, and industrial … [Read more...]

Microgrid Clustering and the Dilemma of Human Nature

microgrid clustering

It won’t happen overnight, but eventually microgrids will interact with each other to achieve greater efficiencies, a concept known as microgrid clustering or grid-of-microgrids. How much and how soon remains to be seen, but clustering is beginning. Commonwealth Edison is the first utility to move forward with a microgrid cluster of … [Read more...]

A Microgrid Finance Strategy that Aims for Scale

microgrid finance

Microgrid finance for behind-the-meter projects has been primarily a bespoke, one-off affair involving a single asset. Dynamic Energy Networks (DEN), backed by The Carlyle Group, aims to change that. The Boston, Mass.-based company has assembled what it believes are the critical elements needed to streamline, accelerate and expand microgrids on … [Read more...]