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
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.
Breakout session audience listening to panel on utility microgrids at Microgrid 2019
Microgrids for Business, Real Estate & Manufacturing
- Professional and Amateur Sporting Facilities Powered by Microgrid in Ontario: Chris Evanich, manager of microgrid business development for S&C Electric, describes the journey of a new microgrid in North Bay, Ontario.
- Brisbane Baylands – Pushing the Possibilities: Dave Yanni, chief development officer at GI Energy and Jonathan Scharfman, senior vice president at UPC, explores the intersection of microgrids and real estate through a project at Brisbane Baylands in California. The new development consists of 684 acres and 2,200 units, as well as commercial and open space planned.
- Advanced Optimization — Military Precision for Advanced Microgrids: Tristan Jackson, Advisian director of smart and distributed energy and Nathan Johnson, assistant professor at Arizona State University, discuss “innovating for change” through public-private partnerships, as well as explore the “Microgrid Boot Camp,” and highlight specific case studies.
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
- Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) Testing in Microgrid Engineering: Syed Qaseem Ali, team leader T&D-DER Application Expertise and Electrical Simulation (AXES) Division at Opal RT, walk attendees through HIL in the microgrid development cycle, as well as controller HIL and Power HIL testbeds for microgrid applications. He also covers a use case at the University of California Irvine.
- Electrical Feasibility Studies for Microgrids: Daniel Jones, project engineer at POWER Engineers begins his presentation by asking this question: So, you want to create a microgrid? He then reviews operational requirements, system isolation points, protection and control considerations, power quality, load energization and more.
- Case studies — Hardware-in-the-loop Testing to Validate and De-risk Microgrid Operation and Control: Kati Sidwall, simulation specialist at RTDS Technologies, explores closed-loop testing (SIL, HIL, CHIL, PHIL) and key simulator characteristics in the context of pre-deployment testing in a variety of use cases.
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
- Deploying Microgrids to Mitigate Wildfire Risk: California’s fire threat profile is not sustainable. Tim Hade, COO at Scale Microgrid Solutions, contends the state’s status quo electric infrastructure is a big part of the problem. Enter microgrids as a solution.
- Clean Coalition’s Goleta Load Pocket Community Microgrid — Setting the Stage for the Most Significant Community Microgrid in the U.S.: Craig Lewis, executive director at Clean Coalition, walks his audience through the possibilities of community microgrids to increase resiliency. A community microgrid is a new approach for designing and operating the electric grid, stacked with local renewables and staged for resilience.
- Yes, Residential Microgrids are a Real Thing! A San Diego Case Study: As costs go down and options increase, residential microgrids become a possibility. John Westerman, vice president, technical solutions at Dynamic Energy Networks, describes a residential microgrid he built at his residence in San Diego, which includes solar PV and a battery energy storage system.
Networking in the exhibit hall
The Campus Microgrid
Will Agate, vice president for microgrid services at Ameresco, offers an overview.
Getting from Here to There — The New Role of Distributed Energy in Transportation
- A Model for Clean, Resilient Energy at the Nation’s Second-Busiest Port:
- Enabling Grid Resilience, Disaster Readiness and Clean EV Fleet Transportation Using Smart Wide Area Microgrid Network: Vipul Gore, president and CEO at Gridscape Solutions, explains why solar microgrids should be considered for fleet EV charging. He also offers a snapshot of the Gridscape EnergyScope, a “microgrid-in-a-box”, and additional product offerings.
- Martha’s Vineyard Nanogrid Assists with Transit Bus Fleet Electrification: Tom McCarran, energy consultant at VEIC, walks viewers through the ins and outs of the new Martha’s Vineyard nanogrid, which includes solar PV, a battery system, a diesel generator, and more.
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
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:
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For information about sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, contact Kevin Normandeau, [email protected]