Balancing Microgrid Goals: Can Carbon-Free Electricity Alone Guarantee the Lights Will Stay On?

Microgrids can be carbon-free or fully reliable, but generally not both — at least not yet, according to most experts on a Microgrid 2021 panel that looked at balancing microgrid goals. The debate comes as businesses and institutions are striving to reduce the risk their power could be cut off, according to Matt Roberts, panel moderator and … [Read more...]

Go Slow to Go Fast When Writing a Microgrid RFP

When writing a microgrid RFP (requests for proposals), it’s important to go slow in order to go fast. This means that it’s critical to do as much upfront work as possible before issuing the microgrid RFP. “Adding extra time at the front end and thoughtfulness into the RFP with as much detail as possible can help you finish a more successful … [Read more...]

Crunching the Numbers on Microgrid Costs, Benefits

Microgrid economics is determined by a mix of costs and revenue factors, according to a panel of experts at the Microgrid 2021 conference who explained how to think about making the financials work on what can be complex projects. “The use of financial resources to make these projects go is always a paramount concern for developing the … [Read more...]

Replay of Conference Sessions on Microgrid Costs and Savings — Free through June 3

Along with many others in the Southeastern US, I found myself searching in vain for gasoline this week, a circumstance that reminded me of the importance of local energy. Somewhere far off in another country, a hacker infiltrated a US energy company, crippling a fuel supply line that runs 5,500 miles from New York to Texas and leaving me, … [Read more...]

Texas on the Verge of an Energy Catastrophe: How Microgrids are Helping

The electric grid has been around for nearly 140 years, but it’s yet to overcome its biggest nemesis: the weather. Texas is showcasing that point this week as it suddenly rivals California in proving the need for microgrids. What happened in Texas and how bad is it? Very bad. Struggling to keep the grid from collapse, the grid operator … [Read more...]

S&C Electric VP Sees “Tension” as Key Dynamic in the Microgrid and Energy Industry

Elisa Wood, editor-in-chief of Microgrid Knowledge, and Erik Svanholm, vice president of non-wires alternatives at S&C Electric, discussed the “tension” in the energy industry during the recent Microgrid 2020 Global event. Wood and Svanholm explored different dynamics that are impacting the microgrid market today and what trends are … [Read more...]

Top Industry Perspective Columns for 2020 — Experts Lead Industry through Tumultuous Year

2020 was one for the books in the energy industry — and just about every industry — rocked by the beginnings of a global pandemic early in the year, followed by an unmatched hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico and rampant wildfires in California. Energy reliability became more crucial in a year full of unknowns, not to mention power … [Read more...]

Writing a Request for Microgrid Proposal Is Easy — If You’ve Done the Hard Work

Issuing a request for proposal is a common way for a facilities manager to find microgrid developers and vendors. How can you create a microgrid RFP that attracts high quality responses? Erik Svanholm, vice president, non-wires alternatives for S&C Electric, offers insight. Suppliers and integrators of microgrids are in the business of … [Read more...]

US DOE Incorporates Microgrids into Plan for 16 Federal Projects

In another sign that the US government is making energy resilience a priority, the Department of Energy (DOE) is incorporating microgrids as part of a program to spur $440 million in energy improvements for 16 federal projects Announced late last week, the effort is meant to bring energy efficiency and resilience to a range of facilities … [Read more...]

Are Government Incentives a Good Idea for Microgrids?

History shows us that an injection of government funding often boosts new and promising energy technologies. But is the same true for microgrids?  In the US, few government incentives exist that are solely for microgrids. If that should change — and how it should change — were topics addressed in a recent Microgrid Knowledge audience survey, … [Read more...]