Parker Village would keep energy wealth circulating within a Detroit-area community

Juan Shannon returned to his hometown, Highland Park, Michigan, to move his entertainment business but soon found himself pursuing an even bigger plan: a village where low-income residents get a stake in clean, local energy. Highland Park, which covers three square miles close to Detroit, ranks in the 94th percentile for low-income status in … [Read more...]

Next Steps for Illinois’ NextGrid

Jessica Collingsworth of the Union of Concerned Scientists provides an update on NextGrid, a grid modernization effort in Illinois, which is the subject of public comment sessions this week. Last year, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) launched NextGrid,  a collaboration between key stakeholders to create a shared base of information … [Read more...]

Another Good Reason for Microgrids: Cyber Squirrel Operations are Climbing

Here's another good reason for microgrids. Grid terrorists are hiding in your backyard behind cute furry faces. John Rogers of the Union of Concerned Scientists describes how we can win the cyber squirrel wars. Some recent experiences with wildlife, and news about wildlife-electricity interactions, have me thinking about the risks of our … [Read more...]

Path to Clean Energy Microgrids and Grid Resilience

Michael Jacobs, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, explains the advantages of clean energy microgrids -- and the obstacles to making them more common. This is the season in the Northeast U.S. for power outages. Severe weather caused widespread damage to the electric power system during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and early snow caused … [Read more...]

The US Electric Grid: Can’t Swim but Lives on a Boat

You might say the U.S. electric grid is like someone who can’t swim but lives on a boat. A big chunk of the grid is located in coastal areas. It’s vulnerable to flooding, and the problem is getting worse. Water and electricity don’t play well together. Flooding leads to outages and is likely to cause even more as sea levels rise. That's the … [Read more...]

Keys to Unlock Energy Storage for Microgrids and Utility Grids

Unlocking energy storage for microgrids and utilities creates a huge opportunity to green the grid.  Michael Jacobs, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, explains what's needed to hasten the storage revolution. New energy storage technologies can make electric grids better as batteries become part of the electricity supply. Huge markets for … [Read more...]