Scotland Center Seeks Marine Microgrid & Other News from Navigant, SEL, Microgrid Labs

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Marine testing center seeks microgrid

The European Marine Energy Center has issued a solicitation seeking a microgrid solution for testing marine energy converters.

Specifically, the center seeks proposals for design and delivery of a simulated grid solution to facilitate the testing of small scale wave and tidal energy converters at its test sites in Orkney, Scotland. The deadline is March 31.

The EMEC provides wave and tidal energy converter developers with accredited open-sea testing.

The solicitation is available here.

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Grid market grows for storage

Energy storage is no longer viewed as more than back up power, as it becomes clear that it has a role to play in strenghtening the grid.

Navigant Research recent report, Energy Storage for the Grid and Ancillary Servicesforecasts that global capacity for these energy storage system services (ESSs) to total 93.8 GW from 2016 to 2025.

The market is important to microgrid projects, which increasingly include energy storage with an eye toward providing grid services.

“Grid operators and regulators are beginning to recognize the value of ESSs for multiple services,” says Alex Eller, research analyst with Navigant Research. “Due to the maturation of the industry, the financial community is growing more comfortable with investments in energy storage, further lowering the cost to deploy systems and accelerating the industry.”

Utilities and grid operators are showing increased interest in these serves partly because of  rapidly falling battery costs. However, many ESS developers still see a significant need for education throughout the industry and believe these systems should have their own rules and be treated as a unique technology in regulatory structures, according to Navigant.

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SEL, Veracity & Sempra work on cybersecurity for utilities

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), Veracity Industrial Networks and Sempra Renewables are working on a secure networking solution that reduces cyber attacks against US industrial and utility networks.

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Backed by the U.S. Department of Energy, the project  focuses on developing technology to reduce cyber attacks aimed at energy delivery systems.

The companies will use new Ethernet communications technology designed to keep systems operational when under cyber attack.

The ultimate goal is for energy critical delivery and control systems to remain safe and operational, especially in the event of a cyber attack.

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Microgrid Labs awarded NSF grant for solar forecasting

Microgrid Labs, in collaboration with The University of New Mexico Center for Emerging Energy Technologies, has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant for $225,000 to conduct research and development in the field of solar irradiance micro-forecasting.

The  team proposes to develop a cost-effective sky image-based, short-term solar irradiance microforecasting system that will accurately predict solar irradiance levels at photovoltaic generating stations 5 to 300 seconds in advance of oncoming cloud cover. This would allow operators to bring online backup power generators to compensate in a timely fashion.

The forecasting system, which will utilize infrared imaging and neural networks, will significantly reduce the amount of energy storage required to mitigate the impact of rapid variation in irradiance on the electrical network, according to Microgrid Labs

“With cost of solar breaching the $1 per watt barrier, the goal of green energy is well within reach. However, this transition is hampered by the threat of grid instability and the high cost of energy storage. Short term solar forecasting can significantly reduce the size and cost of resources required to mitigate PV variability.”

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three 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.