NEC and Distributed Energy Storage in Brazil…California’s Grid and WildFires…CHP in Maryland

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NEC supplies distributed energy storage system for archipelago

NEC Energy Solutions is supplying its first distributed energy storage system in Brazil for a research and development project that will focus on demand charge management and firming of solar power for an archipelago.

Supplied for the Neoenergia Group, one of the largest Brazilian energy distribution companies, the project also will reduce diesel use to help preserve the Fernando de Noronha islands off the coast.

distributed energy storage

Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. Photo provided by NEC Energy Solutions, via Businesswire

Scheduled to be complete in August, the project will undergo a four-year performance evaluation. It will use lithium-ion batteries, along with NEC’s proprietary software and energy storage control system AEROS.

“The product is unique in the market because of its high capacity, in addition to being small and safe, which are very important characteristics considering it is an archipelago with reduced space and extensive preservation area. The development and commercialization of this type of solution is in line with the company’s value proposition whose principle is to contribute to the evolution of society through innovative technology,” said Roberto Murakami, NEC’s director of energy solutions for Brazil.

California to research grid resilience during wildfires

California, which has experienced the largest and most deadly wildfires in its history over the last decade, is taking a look at what they mean to the electric grid.

The California Energy Commission staff plans to hold a workshop on the topic July 25 and is requesting stakeholder input.

Wildfires create concern for the grid for two reasons, according to the workshop notice. First, they can damage grid infrastructure. Second, electrical wires falling on trees can ignite fires.

The state expects extreme weather conditions associated with climate change to lead to larger, more destructive fires.

The  workshop will focus on:

  • The emerging science of wildfire with respect to climate change, including wind regime and tree mortality
  • Current and prospective research concepts on measures to increase grid resiliency to wildfire
  • Current and prospective research concepts on technologies and strategies to reduce the risk of wildfire ignitions by the electricity system

“Wildfire risks are expected to increase as a result of climate change through hotter temperatures, greater moisture deficits—even in wetter years — and greater likelihood of prolonged drought, possibly associated with beetle caused tree mortality. Wildfire is a significant concern to state government, local communities, and electric utilities,” said the CEC notice.

Separately, the California Public Utilities Commission recently approved a High Fire-Threat District Map1 that delineated areas where enhanced fire safety regulations for utilities will apply.

Microgrids located in a fire-free area can keep the power flowing when distant wires are destroyed, causing cascading grid failures.

Workshop details are available on the CEC site.

$4 million available for CHP in Maryland

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is offering $4 million to combined heat and power (CHP) projects through a recently initiated grant application process.

The grants are being offered on a first come, first served basis and will target eligible commercial, industrial, institutional, and critical infrastructure, such as healthcare, wastewater treatment, and certain state and local government facilities.  

Of the $4 million, $3.5 million is reserved for projects in the PEPCO and Delmarva Power Territories, in keeping with the PHI/Exelon Merger agreement.

Applications are due no later than February 15. The application is available via the MEA.

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Elisa Wood About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. She has been writing about energy for more than two decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.

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