Caribbean Ripe for DER and Microgrid Development but Needs Financial Boost

The Caribbean is ripe for microgrid development because of the challenges of hurricanes and COVID-19, but financial constraints are getting in the way. The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is proposing some solutions. This year’s hurricane season is expected to be worse than usual, while the islans are still coming back from the impacts of … [Read more...]

60 Minutes Segment “Incredible Exposure” for the Microgrid Movement Globally

A recent segment of "60 Minutes" about the Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) work in the Bahamas was “incredible exposure” for the microgrid movement globally. “We were in the living rooms of over 9 million viewers that Sunday evening. It was incredible exposure for the Bahamas energy transition, Rocky Mountain Institute and the microgrid … [Read more...]

Microgrids Installed at 10 Puerto Rico Schools

In Puerto Rico, 3,600 children will now study in buildings with secure electricity thanks to the installation of school microgrids by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Save the Children and Kinesis Foundation. The microgrids were installed in 10 schools, many of which had no power for six months after hurricane Maria destroyed the island's … [Read more...]

Electricity comes to Nigeria, but who will use it?

Rocky Mountain Institute's Andrew Allee describes a problem arising out of electrification in Nigeria. Minigrids are bringing electricity to rural areas, but residents do not benefit if they cannot afford appliances. In early 2018, a solar minigrid installation transformed energy access in Gbamu Gbamu, a Nigerian town 45 minutes from the … [Read more...]

Study Warns that Gas Plants Could become Stranded Assets

Utilities, investors and regulators should stop the rush to natural gas and choose clean energy portfolios (CEP) made up of combinations of solar, wind, storage, efficiency and demand response, warns a new report from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). If they don’t, many gas plants will become stranded assets, raising the specter that … [Read more...]

Microgrids Already on their Way to the Bahamas…Just Not Fast Enough

Often communities don’t even start to think about microgrids until after a disaster, giving rise to the adage ‘follow the carnage’ to describe a common path to microgrid development. But in the Bahamas, if there is any good news, it’s that microgrids were already on their way before Hurricane Dorian. The head start is a result of … [Read more...]

How Many Hours-of-Safety before Buildings become Dangerous in Extreme Heat?

Microgrids and other distributed energy resources can extend a buildings "hours-of-safety" — a concept explained here by Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) authors Jacob Corvidae and Sneha Ayyagari. How many people in your community are at risk during extreme weather events? The heat waves wracking the nation right now can cause heat exhaustion, … [Read more...]

What are Non-Wires Alternatives?

Non-wires alternatives (NWAs) use distributed energy resources and microgrids to defer or replace the installation of more traditional 'wires and poles' infrastructure. When utilities choose non-wires alternatives, they often save ratepayers money by avoiding investments in costly infrastructure. By utilizing distributed energy resources (DER) at … [Read more...]

Scrutiny Begins of New Energy Resource Plan Issued by Puerto Rico’s Utility

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) issued a revised integrated resource plan (IRP) late last week in the latest move to redesign the island’s grid to avoid a repeat of the massive power outages brought by Hurricane Maria. Like its earlier version, the new plan segments the island into eight minigrids but incorporates more … [Read more...]

Goodbye to Arguments Against Renewables? New Studies Find them as Reliable and Cheap as Fossils

Can renewables cost less than fossil fuel generation? And are they as reliable? It appears so, especially when they are coupled with a suite of distributed energy resources (DERs), such as virtual power plants and demand response. New reports by Energy Innovation Policy and Technology and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) lay out the … [Read more...]