Hydrogen Becomes More Viable as a Microgrid Fuel

Hydrogen is becoming more viable as a microgrid fuel source, although few hydrogen microgrids exist yet and cost remains a challenge, industry members say. One example is a housing complex in Sweden where six public buildings run on electricity and heat from a microgrid that combines solar, batteries, heat pumps, hydrogen production and storage … [Read more...]

The Quick-Thinking, Self-Driving Energy Grid of the Future

A quick-thinking, self-driving energy grid of the future — an autonomous energy grid — is being developed by researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The goal is to integrate and make the best use of the many distributed energy resources (DERs) expected to come online in coming years, providing for fast-acting … [Read more...]

Take the New NREL Survey about Microgrid Costs

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is seeking participants to take an online microgrid survey for the second phase of its cost study funded by the Department of Energy (DOE). Working closely with the industry to get street-level intelligence, NREL is undertaking the research to better define microgrid costs. The research team also is … [Read more...]

Wondering if Energy Storage Can Reduce Your Demand Charges?

If you’ve heard that energy storage can reduce what you pay in demand charges, and you’re wondering if it would work for your operation, check out a paper issued today by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Clean Energy Group (CEG). The paper finds that 25 percent of commercial customers in the U.S. – five million – pay demand … [Read more...]

Denver’s Peña Station NEXT: This Way to Energy Utopia?

Denver’s Peña Station NEXT offers an energy planner's dream: 382 acres where engineers can start from scratch in creating a clean energy community. No legacy power plants to accommodate, no wires and poles and substations to navigate — the open landscape near Denver International Airport is a rare find in a nation with near ubiquitous … [Read more...]

Flat Rates & Permitting Issues Undermine Residential Solar-Plus-Storage Market

Flat utility rates, permitting issues, and ambiguous or nonexistent incentives are undermining the residential solar-plus-storage market, according to a new analysis. The report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and the US Department of Energy also analyzes the prices of solar PV-plus-storage and … [Read more...]

Which Microgrid Controller Works Best Where?

Which type of microgrid controller can take advantage of the largest amount of renewable energy? Which type of microgrid controller can wring the most money per MWh out of the microgrid? Which best ensures resiliency? Microgrid controllers can be optimized to focus on these and many other goals, but often can't be optimized to meet all these … [Read more...]

With Flexibility, Eastern Grid Can Get More than 30 Percent Renewables Online

With increased flexibility, the eastern grid can get more than 30 percent renewables online, and at times, can boost its renewables penetration to up to 60 percent. That's the word from a new report from the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), "The Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study (ERGIS)." To bring … [Read more...]

Striving Toward 100% Renewable Microgrids: NREL

If you're interested in following the latest research into microgrids -- especially 100 percent renewable microgrids -- keep an eye on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Col., which has a research microgrid. Among the microgrids under study are microgrids on islands, microgrids on military bases, and microgrids that are part of … [Read more...]

Underground Microgrids: Nothing to See Here Neighbors

Microgrids are good, underground microgrids are even better, especially in storm-prone regions. Buried wires are spared the destruction -- and outages -- brought by wind, snow and ice, which often topple over-head wires. Underground microgrids also escape the ire of neighbors who increasingly protest against stringed wire, especially in … [Read more...]