Not Only Texas Went Dark in February: After Storm, Portland, Oregon Tests Resiliency Partnerships

Texas captured worldwide attention in February when a devastating storm crippled the state's power system. But at about the same time, and to much less fanfare, part of the Northwest struggled with similar issues. Portland, Oregon, experienced power outages because of severe weather that left about 200,000 customers in the dark, some for several … [Read more...]

Pandemic, Outages Kindle Homeowner Interest in Electric Reliability: Survey

A new survey by Sunrun underscores just how much homeowners are beginning to worry about electric reliability as California utilities continue to shut off power to prevent wildfires. The Sunrun study found a kindling in homeowner interest in acquiring batteries to avoid blackouts. In the study, 38% of homeowners out of 1,000 surveyed said … [Read more...]

How to Reduce PG&E’s Diesel Use During Fire Emergencies and Shutoffs?

Microgrids and distributed energy resources (DERs) can help reduce Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) diesel use during California fire emergencies, but only if new incentives are implemented and DER integration systems are created. Microgrids and DERs will be most helpful, at least in the short-term, if paired with other technologies, … [Read more...]

California Regulators Approve Changes to Support Microgrids as State Braces for Wildfire Season

Microgrids are getting a boost in California with an eye toward accelerating deployments in advance of the 2020 wildfire season thanks to actions voted on today by the California Public Utilities Commission. The commission ordered a number of short-term modifications that large investor-owned utilities must implement immediately: Accelerate … [Read more...]

California to Utilities: Move Faster On Microgrid Interconnection

Acknowledging that microgrids face tougher interconnection hurdles than other energy sources, California regulators are scheduled to take a vote that would push utilities to speed things up as wildfire season nears. The California Public Utilities Commission plans to vote June 11 on a proposal that would require large electric investor-owned … [Read more...]

Will a Single Utility, PG&E, Boost the 2020 Microgrid Market by $1 Billion?

By some estimates, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is creating a $1 billion opportunity for microgrids, meaning one utility in one year could boost the worldwide market by 10%. Not surprisingly, the California utility by its own account received a “robust” number of bids by companies that want to provide the microgrids. PG&E issued a … [Read more...]

Utility Microgrids Come to California with Speed — and Invention

Utility microgrids are coming to California — and fast — according to plans filed before state regulators last week by the state’s three investor-owned utilities. At the urging of the public utilities commission, the utilities are trying to install microgrids quickly, many in 2020, to reduce power outages when the next wildfire season … [Read more...]

Microgrid Knowledge Names ‘Person’ of the Year and Announces Top Stories for 2019

Microgrid Knowledge doesn’t usually choose a person of the year, as Time magazine does. But 2019 produced such a runaway winner, it seemed necessary to do so.  The winner, of course, is California.  Thanks to its green and pro-microgrid policies, California was high on the list of microgrid leaders even before this fall’s wildfire-related … [Read more...]

The Hurricanes of the West — Wildfires — Spur More Microgrids in California

After wildfires caused power outages in California, the tinder box state is considering more microgrids in a proceeding before state regulators. “Wildfires are now to California what Sandy was to New York,” said Rick Bolton, CEO of Compass Energy Platform, referencing the 2012 superstorm that spurred a government push for microgrids after … [Read more...]

California Wildfires and Related Outages Get City Thinking about a Microgrid

The City of Calistoga, California is moving forward with early-stage discussions with the non-profit Clean Coalition for a community microgrid -- with risk of wildfires and utility power shutdowns driving talks. "We are at the very initial stages of discussion. We had our first meeting with the city council last week and presented various … [Read more...]