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...]

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

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

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

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...]