Did the Calistoga Microgrid Fail September 8? Nope.

Although it has a fully-ready microgrid, Calistoga, California experienced a series of unfortunate events that led to loss of power for more than 2,000 utility customers, a side effect of a preventative power shutoff in neighboring regions. On September 8 dangerous wildfire conditions caused Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to trigger … [Read more...]

Multi-Customer Microgrids: Rare, Difficult and the Future

When the switch is flipped on the Redwood Coast Airport Renewable Energy Microgrid, it will become the first multi-customer microgrid in Northern California and one of only a handful active in the US.  This inventive project aims to be a model for creating resilient communities, but should it be successful some of its more innovative … [Read more...]

California Utilities Expect No More than 30% Reduction in Wildfire-related Power Shutoffs

California’s largest utilities were called before state regulators last week to discuss their plans “to reduce the use, scope, and impact” of public safety power shutoffs (PSPS), the problematic practice of de-energizing power lines to minimize the risk of sparking wildfires. Though their individual territories dictate some customization, … [Read more...]

PG&E: Partnering with Communities on Microgrids “Critically Important”

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) described partnering with communities on microgrids as “critically important” yesterday following approval by California regulators of the utility’s plan to use microgrids to reduce wildfire-related power outages. The approval was part of a larger order issued by the public utilities commission to … [Read more...]

Battery Storage for Microgrids Growing Globally, But Needs Utility Support

Energy storage systems are on the rise as a component of new microgrids or portable energy supplies that have traditionally used fossil fuel-based resources. But utilities need to undertake more widespread usage of storage on permanent microgrids, according to Guidehouse Insights. Peter Asmus, who developed the “Energy Storage for Microgrids … [Read more...]

California PUC Urged to Order Clean Energy Solicitation to Reduce Wildfire Outages

The California Public Utilities Commission should require Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to issue a clean energy solicitation this summer to reduce the effects of wildfire-related power shutoffs, according to Tesla and other stakeholders who are participating in a state microgrid proceeding. The call for the solicitation is in … [Read more...]

California to Include Avoided Transmission Costs in DER Benefits Calculation

The California Public Utilities Commission has agreed to consider avoided transmission costs for the state’s three investor-owned utilities as part of its cost-benefit analysis for distributed energy resources (DERs). The issue centers on the PUC’s “avoided cost calculator,” or ACC, a methodology used to determine the benefits of DERs that … [Read more...]

PG&E Negotiating to Microgrid an Existing Power Plant in Wildfire Strategy

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has rolled out a new plan to keep power flowing during the 2020 wildfire season, which includes forming a microgrid from an existing natural gas-fired plant. The California utility outlined its strategy in an April 1 filing before the California Public Utilities Commission (Rulemaking: 19-09-009). The … [Read more...]

Pacific Gas & Electric Temporarily Suspends Microgrid Solicitation

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) says it has temporarily suspended — but not canceled — a request for offers (RFO) issued in December for 20 microgrid projects. The decision came after various stakeholders expressed concern about the California utility's aggressive deadline to get the microgrids built in 2020. PG&E had hoped the … [Read more...]

Frustrated with Outages, These Seniors Have Big Microgrid Plans, Even Bigger Obstacles

Outage-weary seniors in an Oakmont, California community have encountered numerous regulatory obstacles to their ambitious microgrid plans. Residents of Oakmont Village Association, whose average age is 75, in 2019 endured five blackouts due to fires and also public safety power shut offs by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), said Ken Smith, … [Read more...]