Imagining Broader Microgrid Opportunities

Dick Munson of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) lays out broader microgrid opportunities -- beyond reliability and environmental wins -- that could make microgrids a critical piece of a smarter energy future.Localized power grids that have the ability to disconnect from the main, centralized grid – known as microgrids – have become one of … [Read more...]

ComEd Microgrid Wins Grid Modernization Funding; DOE Boosts Solar, Energy Storage

Another microgrid –  Commonwealth Edison’s Bronzeville project – got a financial boost this week in the rollout of grid modernization funding underway by the U.S. Department of Energy.The DOE allotted $4 million to the innovative ComEd microgrid, which was among six solar and energy storage projects to receive a total of $18 million.The … [Read more...]

BGE Plans Public Purpose Microgrids Across Central Maryland

Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) has launched a plan to build public purpose microgrids across central Maryland, starting in Howard County and Baltimore.The Exelon subsidiary proposed the microgrids late last week in a filing before the Maryland Public Service Commission. The first two microgrids will supply 2-3 MW and are expected to cost … [Read more...]

Future of Six Utility Microgrids Awaits Legislative Action in Illinois

Illinois stands to gain six utility microgrids – including a 17-MW airport microgrid – if state lawmakers approve an energy bill backed by Commonwealth Edison (ComEd).The Exelon subsidiary promoted its microgrid plans last week during an event at the Universal Solar’s (Wanxiang Energy) panel manufacturing plant in Rockford, Ill.The utility … [Read more...]

PECO Gets Okay for $50 to $100M Microgrid Pilot in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission yesterday approved a $50 to $100 million microgrid pilot program planned by PECO Energy.The microgrid pilot accompanies the utility’s five-year, $274 million reliability and resiliency plan to modernize its electric distribution system.The Exelon subsidiary expects to build one or more microgrids … [Read more...]

Are Smart Thermostats the New CFLS?

The U.S. energy efficiency industry has been bemoaning the lack of low-hanging fruit – inexpensive and easy energy savings – now that efficient lightbulbs are fairly ubiquitous.Could smart thermostats be the new replacement?Events in Chicago last week suggest so. The smart thermostat is starting to show scale. In what project sponsors say is … [Read more...]

Pool of Innovators in the Microgrid Space Is Diverse, Often Incomparable

Ranking the pool of innovators in the microgrid space isn't easy because of their diversity. After recently publishing an apples-to-apples comparison, Peter Asmus of Navigant Research now offers an apples-to-oranges look.Navigant Research’s recently published Navigant Research Leaderboard Report: Microgrid Controls is our first ranking of … [Read more...]

Preparing for the Unexpected: Microgrid Planning in Illinois

Microgrids can help keep people safe in a crisis. That's why ongoing microgrid planning in Illinois is so important. Ken Bouche, of Hillard Heintze, explains.Earlier this year, I had the honor and privilege of testifying in front of the Illinois General Assembly’s Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee on an issue that I feel is important … [Read more...]

Who Says You Can't Change People's Energy Behavior?

Just a few years ago the idea of changing energy behavior was viewed as quirky. The thinking was: Forget it, people ignore energy, they’re not going to remember to shut off the lights no matter how much you cajole, flatter or worry them.But companies like Opower, and a growing number of energy behaviorists, are figuring out the psychology behind … [Read more...]

Saving Energy: I’ll Do it My Way

Saving energy used to be about not forgetting to flip the switch when you left the room. But those days have gone the way of the land line and video store.Today saving energy isn’t so much about you remembering something, but your utility remembering something about you.Utilities are finally getting into the game, already figured out by Amazon … [Read more...]