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Reciprocating Engine Generators and Microgrids: Unsung Heroes of the Electric Grid

The new Microgrid Knowledge guide, Reciprocating Engine Generators and Microgrids: The Last Defense Against a Power Outage, looks at a technology that gets little attention but serves a crucial role on the electric grid. Reciprocating engine generators are often the last line of defense when all other resources fail in a power outage. That's just … [Read more...]

Solar is Good. Solar Microgrids are Better

It’s a surprise to many when they learn that their grid-connected solar panels can _not_ keep the lights on during a power outage. This was a lesson the Northeast US learned the hard way during Sandy, the 2012 superstorm that knocked out power to 8 million people. Two weeks or more without electricity, solar panel owners were venting to the … [Read more...]

A Microgrid to Keep New York City’s Fresh Food Supply Safe

When the power fails, refrigerators go out too, jeopardizing our fresh food supply. That’s part of the reason a $137 million microgrid has been proposed in the Hunts Point area of New York City. The South Bronx neighborhood is home to a wholesale food cooperative located at the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center (FDC), which includes the … [Read more...]

Massachusetts Positions to be Third State to Set an Energy Storage Mandate

Massachusetts entered the vanguard of the energy storage industry with legislative approval late Sunday night of an energy storage mandate. The mandate – a requirement that utilities procure a specified amount of energy storage by 2020 – is part of a broader energy bill state lawmakers passed minutes before the legislative session ended for the … [Read more...]

‘Optimized Microgrid’ at Algonquin College Achieves Positive ROI

An optimized microgrid at Algonquin College demonstrates how to be a showcase for sustainability and earn a positive return on investment, in this excerpt from our new report “How Microgrids Can Achieve Maximum Return on Investment (ROI): The Role of the Advanced Microgrid Controller.” Algonquin College in Ontario, Canada is modeling how to become … [Read more...]

Solar Microgrids in South Africa Electrify, Boost Economic Development

Accenture Development Partnerships has teamed up with the University of Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) and The Rural Development Company to develop solar microgrids in South Africa that aim to provide rural electrification and economic development. Accenture is trying to create a sustainable economic model that can be … [Read more...]

Maryland Regulators Reject BGE’s Utility Microgrids; Raise Competition Issues

Maryland regulators made clear this week that utility microgrids won’t be a slam dunk in the restructured state. The Public Service Commission rejected a proposal by Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) to construct, operate and recover costs for two public purpose microgrids. In doing so, the commission focused on specific problems it had with … [Read more...]

Is this the ‘Non-Weird’ Future of Microgrids? 

Elon Musk, CEO of California-based Tesla, last week told analysts that he wants to get the energy world to a “non-weird future.” Meanwhile, about 2,000 miles away in Minnesota, an international energy gathering offered a glimpse of its own kind of energy future. Musk’s future of microgrids is a place where consumers can easily (and more cheaply) … [Read more...]

Why is Microgrid Financing Difficult?

No 'killer app' exists for microgrid financing. And until one is found, microgrid growth is unlikely to reach full steam, as we explain in "How Microgrids Can Achieve Maximum Return on Investment (ROI): The Role of the Advanced Microgrid Controller. Below is an excerpt. The microgrid industry is expected to see rapid growth in the coming decade. … [Read more...]

Exelon Readies Super Microgrid Controller that Allows Microgrids to ‘Talk’ to Each Other

Exelon is becoming known for its emphasis on the public purpose microgrid. Less well known, but possibly more significant, is early work the utility giant has underway that could lead to a ‘grid of microgrids.’ At the heart of the effort is development of a kind of super microgrid controller by Exelon’s subsidiary Commonwealth … [Read more...]