Texas Again Creates a Reminder of the Value of Microgrids

Four months after Texas endured five days of blackouts, the state is again at the brink of not having enough power to meet its needs, bringing another reminder of the value microgrids can bring to customers and to the wider grid. Instead of the effects of unusually cold weather that blanketed Texas and parts of the mid-continent in February, … [Read more...]

Supply vs. Demand: The One-Million Megawatt Hour Opportunity

Nash Whitney, director of sales at Generac Power Solutions, explores how distributed generation and microgrids can provide grid flexibility, as evidenced during Winter Storm Uri in ERCOT. Efficient markets maximize the utilization of resources and, by consequence, provide the lowest cost or price. For instance, ERCOT provides some of the … [Read more...]

How Behind the Meter Assets Can Help — or Hinder — Utility Energy Management in Texas

More and more, utilities are deploying behind the meter (BTM) assets — particularly energy storage and electric vehicles (EV) — to reduce their loads, balance their systems and provide resilience. In the wake of a February  outage, Portland General Electric said it has been testing projects that deploy customer sited storage to help boost … [Read more...]

Texas on the Verge of an Energy Catastrophe: How Microgrids are Helping

The electric grid has been around for nearly 140 years, but it’s yet to overcome its biggest nemesis: the weather. Texas is showcasing that point this week as it suddenly rivals California in proving the need for microgrids. What happened in Texas and how bad is it? Very bad. Struggling to keep the grid from collapse, the grid operator … [Read more...]

Sunbaked Texas Grid May Need Microgrids this Summer

Even in a pandemic, it seems the Texas electric grid can’t catch a break. The grid operator for most of the state warned this week that the summer is likely to bring record-breaking peak demand for electricity, a situation that can threaten electric reliability and jack up prices. It’s not unusual for the heavily air-conditioned state to … [Read more...]

ERCOT Warns of Tight Summer Conditions in Texas. Microgrid Opportunity?

While California is today’s hub of microgrid opportunity, the Texas market bears watching as its grid operator, ERCOT, warns that this summer could bring record electricity use. ERCOT released its spring Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy, more commonly known as the SARA report, last week and with it projections that the coming summer … [Read more...]

Texas Customers Could Save $5.47 Billion with DERs, but Regulations Must Change

Texas consumers could save $5.47 billion over ten years with distributed energy resources (DERs), but regulations must change to realize these benefits. A study by Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA) identified two ways DERs can reduce costs: Act as non-wires alternatives to avoid investment in tranmission and distribution … [Read more...]

What the Summer Heat Tells Us about Renewable Energy in Texas

It was a hot summer in Texas. Even into autumn the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) was urging customers to use less electricity. Given these events, and new renewable energy options, businesses in the state are — no doubt — thinking about their energy choices. Microgrid Knowledge will explore issues surrounding ERCOT’s supply … [Read more...]

Texas Utility Commission to Take Up Utility Ownership of Storage Assets

The Texas Public Utility Commission is expected to address a lingering question this summer: Are utilities permitted to own battery storage to provide reliability solutions — if the competitive market there is unable to do so? The microgrid industry sits on both sides of the issue. One group is saying that utilities won’t develop microgrids … [Read more...]

From Naval Ships to Space Ships to Reliability Microgrids: The ERock Story

Sea, sky – and some sophisticated energy trading expertise – lies behind the reliability microgrids conceived by Enchanted Rock (ERock). The Texas-based company made a splash last week with news that it has secured financing to install 50 MW of reliability microgrids for grocery stores and other commercial and industrial customers in … [Read more...]