Most Read Microgrid Articles in 2016 & the Companies Featured

Our in-depth look at microgrid costs topped the list of most read microgrid articles in 2016. Readers also showed strong interest in stories about large market players and state and federal policy.

Companies featured in the top 10 include ABB, Caterpillar, S&C Electric, Siemens, GE, Hitachi and National Grid.

Notably, the story, “Hitachi Moves into the North America Microgrid Market with 100-Year Plan,” made the list of most read microgrid articles for the second year running.

Top 10 most read microgrid articles in 2016

1. What Does a Microgrid Cost?

When asked, “What does a microgrid cost?” ABB’s Nathan Adams responds, “What does a house cost?” Just as houses span from builder basic to celebrity mansion, microgrids range in size and sophistication. Or as S&C Electric’s David Chiesa puts it: “If you’ve seen one microgrid…you’ve seen one microgrid.” So, there is no quick and simple price to give a prospective customer. Sources we’ve interviewed cite project proposals as low as $250,000 to as high as $100 million.

2. What’s behind Caterpillar’s New Hybrid Microgrid Play? Here’s a Deeper Look

Caterpillar became the latest big infrastructure company to unveil a microgrid play with the recent launch of its hybrid microgrid into the global market. The Cat hybrid technology combines solar, energy storage and fossil fuels and will focus on projects 10 kW to 100 MW.

3. Hitachi Moves into the North America Microgrid Market with 100-Year Plan

Hitachi, one of the world’s largest companies, has entered the North America microgrid market, a move born out of a tsunami and a very, very long-term view of the business cycle.

The $81.3 billion global conglomerate has been quietly preparing the ground for its North America microgrid operation over the past year. But the seeds of the move go back to 2010, when the Japanese company celebrated its 100-year anniversary.

4. GE Positions to Scale Up in the Microgrid Market

General Electric yesterday signaled that it is about to become more visible and aggressive in the increasingly competitive microgrid market. “The technology is ready, and we are now ready to scale up,” said Herve Amosse, GE’s general manager for grid automation, siting an increasingly viable business case for microgrids as renewable energy costs fall.

5. Massachusetts Positions to be Third State to Set an Energy Storage Mandate

Massachusetts entered the vanguard of the energy storage industry with legislative approval late Sunday night of an energy storage mandate. The mandate – a requirement that utilities procure a specified amount of energy storage by 2020 – is part of a broader energy bill state lawmakers passed minutes before the legislative session ended for the year on July 31.

6. White House Lays Out Plans to Scale Up Microgrids, Storage & Renewables

The Obama Administration on Thursday laid out an extensive list of federal, utility and private actions to scale up microgrids, energy storage and renewable energy throughout the US.

The menu of initiatives came out of a summit that the White House hosted to boost the growing combination of renewables and energy storage.

7. Solar is Good. Solar Microgrids are Better

It’s a surprise to many when they learn that their grid-connected solar panels can _not_ keep the lights on during a power outage. This was a lesson the Northeast US learned the hard way during Sandy, the 2012 superstorm that knocked out power to 8 million people. Two weeks or more without electricity, solar panel owners were venting to the media. Few realized that absent a battery and advanced inverter, their solar homes would go dark.

8. Microgrids are Defining the New Energy Landscape

Over the last decade, much focus has been put on how to green up the grid. This is of course logical given the dramatic cost reduction undergone by renewable energy technologies. Initially through subsidies and more recently on a purely competitive basis, large wind and solar farms have been built around the world and connected to the main electrical grid. However, less attention has been paid so far to so-called microgrids.

9. New York Unveils New Way to Price Distributed Energy Resources

New York energy advisors unveiled a new, more granular way to price distributed energy resources and transition away from net metering, in a proposal released yesterday. The report, issued by the Department of Public Services staff, said that current pricing methods fail to take into account the full value of distributed energy.

10. National Grid to Test New Utility Microgrid Services

How will utilities make money as more customers generate their own electricity?  That’s one of the big looming industry questions, and one that National Grid is trying to solve by testing new utility microgrid services. The utility plans to try out the services in Potsdam, New York, where it is installing a microgrid with Clarkson University, General Electric and Nova Energy Specialists.

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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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