National lab wins $1M for microgrid design tool
The Department of Energy has awarded $1 million for Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to work on the second phase of a microgrid design tool for remote projects.
The advanced tool is for both AC and DC microgrids in remote locations.
In the first phase, the lab worked on model development. The second phase will focus on tool testing, validation, and outreach.
Others working on the microgrid design tool project include Los Alamos National Lab, Argonne National Lab, Brookhaven National Lab, Alaska Center for Energy and Power, Burns Engineering, and General Electric (GE Energy Consulting).
Several microgrid and commercial companies also are involved, among them Marsh Creek, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Nome Joint Utility System, Kokhanok Village Council, Cordova Electric Cooperative, and the City of Cordova.
The first phase of this project ended in August 2016 and the second phase is expected to start in October 2016.LBNL wins $1M for microgrid design tool @LBNLcsClick To Tweet
Who’s partnering with who in the microgrid industry?
Microgrid consulting company THEnergy reports that microgrid partnerships are growing, particularly for remote hybrid microgrids and utility microgrids.
“We see two main targets for these partnerships: market access and technology enhancement by pooling complementary solutions,” said Thomas Hillig, THEnergy managing director.
Some of the partnerships that THEnergy describes are:
- ABB with Samsung; Ideal Power with LG Chem; and Aquion Energy for microgrids that use energy storage
- Inverter manufacturers Fronius and Victron in a strategic partnership for smaller microgrids
- For larger microgrids, Schneider Electric has developed controls with DEIF
Sometimes the objectives of the partnership are twofold, according to THEnergy. Caterpillar has teamed with First Solar, bringing its diesel genset expertise and access to the mining industry – a key market for microgrids. Meanwhile, First Solar contributes photovoltaics know-how.
THEnergy described other collaborations that go beyond pure strategic partnerships. French utility ENGIE has invested $6 million in the California-based company Advanced Microgrid Solutions targeting utility microgrids.
The French oil and gas major Total SA has acquired majority and minority stakes in several renewable energy and storage companies that cover key aspects of the microgrid value-chain. These include Sunpower, Saft, Aquion Energy, STEM, LightSail Energy, EnerVault, Ambri, Offgrid Electric, Powerhive, and DP Energy.
California and Navy partner on renewables
And then there are government partnerships that are fostering microgrids…
The California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Department of the Navy today formalized their energy partnership at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
Navy and Marine Corps facilities in the state are transitioning to renewable energy, a goal the military increasingly couples with microgrid development so that its energy is both green and secure.
The two organizations will continue to share information and technical data on energy projects and initiatives.Who's partnering with who in the #microgrid industry? Click To Tweet
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has selected Navigant to establish and operate REV Connect, a forum to advance project development under Reforming the Energy Vision (REV).
REV is New York’s revamping of energy policy to create a marketplace or exchange for distributed energy resources.
Developers and other third parties will be able to submit project ideas into REV Connect, which will then match them with customers, communities and utilities.
NYSERDA hopes to use REV Connect to advance high quality REV demonstrations and other innovative projects.
Navigant, along with the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium, Modern Grid Partners and Zpryme, will:
- Take stock of the current state of REV implementation including REV demonstration projects
- Develop an inventory of areas of interest, market needs, promising ideas, challenges, and means to engage with REV market participants
- Develop a REV Connect online portal and other tools for market engagement. The portal will be used to share knowledge and will act as a point of intake for ideas, technologies and projects. It also will provide engagement opportunities for market actors and utilities.
- Create a plan for continued operation of REV Connect beyond the term of its contract