How 2017 Made the Argument for Microgrids


Sometimes events make an argument more strongly than words can. Such was the case in 2017 when disaster after disaster spoke to the vulnerability of the electric grid and the need for microgrids to ensure power supply. First came Hurricane Harvey in late August with wind and water knocking out 10,000 MW of generating capacity in Texas. Then on … [Read more...]

Most Read Microgrid Knowledge Stories of 2017 and the Companies Featured

Microgrid Knowledge stories

As we compiled this year's list of most-read Microgrid Knowledge stories, we were intrigued to see what captured -- and kept capturing -- our readers' attention. Storms, wildfires, innovations, blockchain, energy storage, solar and the city of Pittsburgh were among the winning topics. Companies in the top 10 articles include ABB, Consolidated … [Read more...]

What’s Next as NREL Ups the IQ of the Microgrid Controller?

microgrid controller

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is expected to release results soon from a microgrid controller competition designed to further develop the “brain” of the microgrid. NREL will announce a winner and publish results for the microgrid industry to use in advancing the all-important intelligence that distinguishes microgrids from … [Read more...]

No Microgrids at the Busiest Airport in the World?


Like Puerto Rico, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport found out the hard way why microgrids are a good insurance policy. The world’s busiest airport suffered an 11-hour power outage on Sunday, delaying over a thousand flights and leaving passengers stranded for hours in darkened terminals or seated in planes. Georgia Power, … [Read more...]

Adapting Protection to Island Mode Operation of Microgrids

island mode

In this week’s Industry Perspectives, Scott Manson, of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), explores some of the challenges of protection coordination for island mode operation of microgrids.  The challenges of protection coordination for island mode operation of microgrids vary per the grid topology and the generation sources such as … [Read more...]

Post Irma: Will the Southeast become the New Northeast for Microgrids?


Microgrids are on the rise in the U.S., but not quickly enough for the millions in the Southeast who lost power this week – and continue to have none days later -- following Hurricane Irma. Perhaps most poignant, Irma underscores what loss of electricity means to senior citizens, a potentially life-threatening situation when air conditioning … [Read more...]

Hurricane Harvey Creates New Abnormal for the Electric Grid

microgrids and Hurricane Harvey

Stories are just beginning to emerge about microgrids and distributed energy systems that are keeping critical services up and running despite Hurricane Harvey's best efforts to do them in. Twenty-one convenience stores and gas stations in the Houston area remained open thanks to an unusual microgrid system designed by Enchanted Rock … [Read more...]

Analysis: Will the Perry Study Actually Help Microgrids and Energy Storage?

microgrids and energy storage

Microgrids and energy storage improve electric reliability. So it was perplexing to see how little attention they received in a major study on grid reliability issued this week by the U.S. Department of Energy. Businesses, communities and institutions across the country have stepped up installation of microgrids in recent years to ensure power … [Read more...]

Driving Complexity out of Microgrid Design

island mode

In this week’s Industry Perspectives, Scott Manson, of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, explains why we need simpler microgrid design and more "elegant" control strategies.  About two decades ago, one of the first programmable logic controller (PLC) systems I coded was controlling an expensive machine called a sheeter. This machine … [Read more...]

Pennsylvania Tackles a Big One: Who Pays for Utility Microgrids?

utility microgrids

Pennsylvania is the now the center of a pivotal, national industry debate over who pays for utility microgrids, with the introduction of legislation into the General Assembly that gives utilities a path to recover costs. HB 1412 allows utilities to recover costs within customer rates for microgrids and energy storage projects. Rep. Stephen … [Read more...]