California microgrid developers gain important interconnection certainty: ‘a big step’

Distributed energy resource (DER) and microgrid developers in California and across the country want certainty about their options for — and chances of — interconnecting to the grid. For years, they’ve struggled with uncertainty that leads to increased costs and causes delays. The developers have had to put their solar projects through an … [Read more...]

Pay microgrid owners to boost California’s grid? Credits and “price machines” proposed

Two separate proposals floated last week before California regulators open the door for financial incentives that would encourage microgrid owners to step in and help out when the electric grid is falling short. Fuel cell company Bloom Energy offered the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) a specific plan to provide credits to … [Read more...]

Rural counties in California push for activation of idle microgrids as power outages mount

If a microgrid is built in California to address public safety power shutoffs (PSPS), shouldn’t it also be activated when power outages occur for other reasons?  That’s the question a group representing 38 rural counties in California is asking state regulators after being precluded from using their microgrids during multiple power outages … [Read more...]

California opens proceeding on multiproperty microgrids, value of resilience

California is topping off the year by opening its next effort to advance microgrids, part of a far-reaching proceeding underway since 2019 that will now delve into multiproperty microgrids, the value of resilience and community microgrid incentives. Designated as Track 4 (phase 2) and Track 5 of the microgrid docket, the undertaking is … [Read more...]

What? Only Utility Microgrids?

Several parties are questioning why only utilities made the cut to build microgrids in a key recommendation before California regulators on how to meet the state’s capacity shortfall. At issue is a proposed decision by an administrative law judge scheduled to come before the California Public Utilities Commission Dec. 2. The judge last month … [Read more...]

Utilities Balk at Los Angeles County Plan for a Regional Microgrid Agency

A proposal by the County of Los Angeles to create a regional microgrid agency has drawn the ire of California's investor-owned utilities. But the county says the utility criticism is off target.  The county last month proposed a $41 million program that includes a regional microgrid agency to serve an area that encompasses roughly half of … [Read more...]

Can This One Thing Speed Microgrid Project Development?

Microgrid developers often cite interconnection to the grid as one of the biggest challenges to getting more projects online. For example, in spring 2020, microgrid developers told the California Public Utilities Commission that they can build microgrids quickly — especially to help address shutoffs because of wildfires — but delays in … [Read more...]

US’ Largest County — Los Angeles — Proposes Agency to Support Microgrids in a Large Swath of California 

The County of Los Angeles last week made an eye-opening proposal — a $41 million program that includes a regional microgrid agency to serve an area that encompasses roughly half of California’s population. The county hopes to do for microgrids what a similar initiative, Southern California Regional Energy Network County (SoCalREN), did for … [Read more...]

Utility Asks California Agency to Reverse Decision Waiving Standby Charges for Microgrids

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) this week asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to reverse its decision to waive a key component of standby charges for microgrids, saying it creates an illegal cost shift between customer groups. The issue centers on the commission's mid-July decision to suspend the capacity … [Read more...]

California Looks to Bigger, More Complex Microgrids as It Faces Capacity Shortfalls

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) made two big moves on microgrids this week, opening a proceeding to tackle the thorny issue of multiproperty microgrids, while also launching a fast-track investigation into how microgrids can help the state overcome immediate energy capacity shortfalls — a response to an emergency proclamation by … [Read more...]