Portland Plans Microgrid Statues in Parks. Will Use Pedal-Power

microgrid statues

The city of Portland and three partners have launched a pilot to offer emergency microgrid support in a park statue that will charge cell phones and store emergency supplies. It’s a classic project for this green city, featuring solar, storage and pedal power in a visible, small public park on Portland State University's (PSU) campus. But … [Read more...]

The Good, Bad and Ugly of Vehicle-to-Grid Services

vehicle-to-grid

All eyes are on Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) as it tests the ability of EVs to help power homes during outages and provide demand response. Will vehicle-to-grid live up to its big promise? Industry insiders are both optimistic and cautious. “The biggest challenge to using EVs to flow power back to the grid is that doing so would … [Read more...]

EVs Provide Valuable Grid Services, But Regulations Needed: Pilot

electric vehicles

EVs provide valuable grid services, but regulations are needed to ensure that the benefits are maximized, according to a report about a BMW/PG&E pilot program, BMW iCharge Forward. BMW and PG&E partnered in a demand response program involving 100 BMW i3 cars in the San Francisco Bay area plus a solar-powered stationary BMW 2nd life … [Read more...]

Higher-Priced, Fast EV Charging Proposed for Some PG&E Areas

fast ev charging

PG&E customers have told the utility they want more fast EV charging options, but those come at a higher price, as outlined in a new proposal from the utility that aims to get more of the vehicles on the road. To create the infrastructure needed for DC fast chargers, which can fully charge an EV in about 20 to 30 minutes, the utility must … [Read more...]

Alaska Center Seeks New Microgrid Technology…Microgrid Brings Peace & Quiet to Kenya Park…Other Quick News

Funds available in microgrid technology competition The Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies has launched a competition that offers financial and lab assistance for microgrid technology development. The grand prize winner will receive $275,000 to accelerate commercialization and improve operation and efficiency of a microgrid technology. … [Read more...]

Nanogrid Building in San Francisco Grapples with Utility Incentives

nanogrid building

Developers of one-of-a-kind nanogrid building in San Francisco are grappling with challenges stemming from the incentives they're receiving from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), through Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). The project, Sol-Lux Alpha, is a four-unit condo building  with a 42-kW photovoltaic array and 105 kWh … [Read more...]

Case Study: Blue Lake Rancheria Microgrid

As one of 16 U.S. communities designated White House Climate Action Champions, Blue Lake Rancheria, a Native American reservation in Northern California, had already made investments in alternative energy generation sources. The next step was to achieve even greater efficiency by optimizing how those resources are managed and dispatched. Blue … [Read more...]

Organization Wary of Utility Market Dominance over EV Charging in California

An electric vehicle advocacy organization is sounding an alarm about utility market dominance over EV charging, as California's largest utility attempts to grow its services. Pacific Gas & Electric's (PG&E) wants to expand its EV charging in northern California. But the Electric Vehicle Charging Association (EVCA) warns that the utility … [Read more...]

Net Metering and Microgrids: Do Your Homework

net metering and microgrids

Net metering and microgrids can go hand-in-hand, but first you have to do your homework. Across the country, utilities are challenging net metering projects and laws, resulting in time-consuming delays and expensive charges and rate adjustments for some —and thwarted net metering projects for others. Utilities successfully challenged net … [Read more...]

Podcast: What's The Difference Between Community Solar & Green Power

With PG&E planning to offer solar as both a community solar and green power program, we asked what's the difference--and who would be interested in community solar instead of green power. Erica Schroeder McConnell, attorney for Interstate Renewable Energy Council, answers the question in this podcast. … [Read more...]