Microgrid Moves: Kotch Exits NY Prize; IDEA Enters Microgrids

Micah Kotch received more than one ovation for a job well done at the Microgrid Knowledge conference last week, after announcing that he will be stepping down as director of NY Prize. Kotch has been the pivotal figure in the emerging microgrid market, shepherding the ambitious $40 million NY Prize through its first stage. The competition has … [Read more...]

Planning Begins on California Microgrid Road Map

State policymakers will begin work this week on a California microgrid road map, an effort to remove barriers to microgrid development. The California Energy Commission will hold a workshop May 24 at 1:30 p.m. (Pacific time) with the Public Utilities Commission and the California Independent System Operator. The session is geared toward … [Read more...]

What Does a Microgrid Cost?

When asked, “What does a microgrid cost?” ABB’s Nathan Adams responds, “What does a house cost?” Just as houses span from builder basic to celebrity mansion, microgrids range in size and sophistication. Or as S&C Electric’s David Chiesa puts it: “If you’ve seen one microgrid…you’ve seen one microgrid.” So there is no quick and simple … [Read more...]

US Senate Passes Bill that Supports Grid-Connected and Hybrid Microgrids

A broad energy bill passed this week by the U.S. Senate would boost hybrid microgrids and attempt to remove barriers to grid-connected microgrids within regional transmission organizations (RTOs). The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 (S. 2012) is the first major energy bill passed by the Senate in almost a decade. It now goes on to … [Read more...]

Harvard Law School Group Pushes Virtual Power Plants in Massachusetts

A Harvard Law School group is urging Massachusetts regulators to test virtual power plants – possibly as part of microgrids – as the state moves to modernize its electric grid. The school’s Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic raised the idea of utilities demonstrating virtual power plants in comments filed last week before the … [Read more...]

Connecticut Advances Utility Cybersecurity Efforts; Survey Finds Threat Rises

Warning that there “will likely be a utility cyber disruption at some point,” Connecticut officials say they plan to begin annual confidential meetings to review utility cybersecurity efforts. “Given the extent to which both our quality of life and sheer survival depend upon modern utilities, the nascent area of recovery management deserves … [Read more...]

The Multi-Directional Grid & its Safety, Connectivity & Speed Challenges

In the old days, the grid was uni-directional. But now, it's a multi-directional grid with more and more energy storage, renewables, electric vehicles and other resources coming online, and the utility's task has become complex -- to say the least. The utility of the future -- under New York State's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) and … [Read more...]

Disruptors Unite: Wellinghoff Joins SolarCity as Policy Lead

Think of it as a coming together of two energy industry disrupters...SolarCity has hired Jon Wellinghoff, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), as its chief policy officer. While such appointments are typically not big news, this one is interesting because SolarCity and Wellinghoff have separately helped create … [Read more...]

FBI Investigating Pipe Bomb-like Devices Found on National Grid Lines in Massachusetts

The FBI says that it is investigating several pipe bomb-like devices found on National Grid’s transmission system in Massachusetts on March 30. Harold Shaw, special FBI agent in charge, said that multiple “incendiary” devices were discovered around 3 p.m. in Tyngsboro, a town of about 11,000 people, which is 28 miles from Boston on the New … [Read more...]

Five Policies Blocking Microgrids (From a Veteran of Local Energy Wars)

The smart phone has changed the consumer psyche about energy.  If we can control so much in the palm of the hands -- at so little cost -- why not energy too? Such thinking underlies the growing appeal of microgrids, nanogrids, rooftop solar, solar gardens, energy aggregations, thinking thermostats and other technologies that can reduce the … [Read more...]