Microgrid 2019 Proceedings

Microgrid 2019: Shaping the New Electric Grid, brought more than 400 professionals to San Diego May 13-16 for the industry’s annual conference the largest and most succcessful gathering since Microgrid Knowledge launched the event in 2016.

Held at the Intercontinental San Diego, Microgrid 2019 offered extensive networking opportunities with industry leaders and panel discussions that explored topics key to the microgrid industry, ranging from military, university and utility microgrids to technology and engineering.

For the second year the event’s Microgrid Financing Connection brought together project developers in search of microgrid financing with financiers in search of investment-grade projects. The conference culminated with tours of advanced microgrids at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and the University of California, San Diego

Microgrid 2019

Elisa Wood, Microgrid Knowledge editor-in-chief, welcomes attendees to Microgrid 2019. 

For a recap of the event, check out the presentations and analysis from Microgrid 2019’s expert speakers below, as well as photos and results from participant polling.

Market & Policy Workshops: Tariffs, Tax Incentives, RECs or Something Else? What’s the Way Forward for Microgrids?

Microgrid 2019 kicks off with a market and policy workshop where thought leaders and policymakers roll up their sleeves to work together on future direction for microgrid incentives. Led by Ken Horne, director at Navigant, the workshop included presentations by Peter Asmus, associate director at Navigant Research; and Brian Levite, regulatory affairs director at S&C Electric.

Greater Good Award Winners

Abubakar Aidarus, founder and CEO at SolarGen Technologies, explores the companies efforts to provide renewable energy and water solutions to East Africa. The SolarGen executive walks viewers through the company’s recent projects, including minigrids for refugee returnees and community grids, as well as how some of these solutions are being scaled in Somalia. SolarGen won the top Greater Good Award from Microgrid Knowledge for 2019.

Venkat Rajaraman, CEO, of CYGNI, explores a DC microgrid project in un-electrified villages in Manipur. Rajaraman makes the case for DC microgrids, including scalability and technological advantages. The total Manipur microgrid project involves electrification of 3,000 homes under Phase-I and 3,500 homes under Phase-II. CYNGI received the Greater Good Award for a remote microgrid.

Clark Wiedetz, director of microgrids and renewable integration, Siemens Digital Grid, highlights the key challenges and opportunities in Siemens’ Blue Lake Rancheria microgrid project in Blue Lake, Calif. The project is a low-carbon microgrid that has brought cost savings and economic development to the community. The microgrid utilizes Siemens Spectrum Power Microgrid Management System (MGMS). Siemens won the Greater Good Award for a grid-connected microgrid.

utility microgrids

Breakout session audience listening to panel on utility microgrids at Microgrid 2019


Microgrids for Business, Real Estate & Manufacturing


Microgrid 2019

Karen Morgan, president and CEO of Dynamic Energy Networks, moderates a panel at Microgrid 2019 that explored microgrid financing options.

Providing Public Benefits with Utility Microgrids

  • Utility Formula for Microgrid Success: Jason Handley, director – smart grid technology and operations at Duke Energy, outlines the company’s project experience with microgrids. He points out key factors to building a smarter energy future: “Renewables and DERs are part of the core business, customers and tech are key drives, policy must keep pace, and clean energy and grid investments are key to delivering value to customers.”
  • Microgrids as a Foundation for DERMS, Horizon Power, Australia: David Jeon, technical services manager at PXiSE Energy Solutions, highlights grid control  and management tools currently available. According to Jeon, new tools are needed to adapt to the distributed power design and the loss of inertia of the system.
  • Utility Microgrids — Collaboration, Not Competition: Allan Schurr, chief commercial officer at Enchanted Rock, explores how the industries with the highest need for resiliency can collaborate with utilities and microgrids to help create the grid of the future.


Special Technical Considerations for Microgrid Design and Operation


microgrid 2019 presentations

Speaking on the keynote panel, Michael Bakas, Executive Vice President, Distributed Energy Systems, Ameresco

Microgrid Financing: How to Make your Microgrid a Reality

  • Microgrid Case Study – Bowery Farming: Review the specs of the Bowery Farming microgrid, an industrial microgrid designed to create cheaper, cleaner and more reliable power. This project stems from the recent wildfires in California, linked to outdated electrical infrastructure.
  • Energy-as-a-Service: Mark Feasel, vice president, electric utility segment and smart grid at Schneider Electric, explores EaaS — which he defines as “the story of energy smartly procured, locally produced and efficiently consumed.” EaaS removes risk from energy consumers while giving them more control over their energy supply.
  • Models for Microgrids — Project Finance, Tax Credits and Opportunity Zones: Jerome Garciano, attorney at Robinson & Cole, reviews project finance tax credit structure and the opportunity zone program, which provides breaks for equity investments in designated opportunity zones.


Microgrids in Healthcare


Panel discusses utility role in microgrids at Microgrid 2019


Capturing and Quantifying the Full Worth of a Microgrid


From Wildfires to Environmental Protection: How Microgrids Service Communities

microgrid 2019

Networking in the exhibit hall


The Campus Microgrid

Will Agate, vice president for microgrid services at Ameresco, offers an overview. 


microgrid 2019 presentationsGetting from Here to There — The New Role of Distributed Energy in Transportation



Dave Yanni, GI Energy’s chief development officer, speaking on the Microgrid 2019 panel “The Great Debate: What’s the Utility Role in Microgrids?”

Advances in Microgrid Controls, Software & Energy Storage

  • Self-aware Microgrid Controls: Scott Manson, principal engineer at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, offers his perspective on self-aware microgrid controls through the lens of Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. Manson contends self-aware microgrid controls offer superior protection for assets environment and individuals.
  • Optimizing the University of California at San Diego Microgrid with a Long-Duration Energy Storage Asset: Bill Sproull, vice president of business development at ESS, takes a look at long duration energy storage through the lens of the University of California San Diego microgrid. A long-life energy asset is an infrastructure investment that can have value for 20-30 years with no degradation.
  • A Battery as a Cog in the Wheel, Portuguese Island, Graciosa: Bryan Urban, executive vice president at Leclanche, covers the details of a microgrid project in the Azores Islands in Portugal, which includes an installation of solar PV, wind turbines and lithium-ion battery storage integrated with existing diesel gen sets and utility transmission grid

And More…

Click here to get the Microgrid 2019 Audience Polls and Surveys PDF. Please note that the poll results are copyright protected, so please source to “Microgrid Knowledge: Microgrid 2019 Conference” when quoting this data.

Want to relive Microgrid 2019, and find familiar faces in the crowd? Check out photos from Microgrid 2019. And if you didn’t make it to the event this year, see what you missed at the:

Stay tuned for details on the industry’s next annual conference, Microgrid 2020. To track announcements about the event, sign up for the free Microgrid Knowledge newsletter.

For information about sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, contact Kevin Normandeau, [email protected]