Maryland Task Force Presses for Quick Action on Public Purpose Microgrids

Utilities get the first crack at developing special public purpose microgrids in Maryland under a detailed strategy released this week by Governor Martin O'Malley’s microgrid task force. Non-utility companies will get a shot at the public purpose market too, but not right away, since it will mean a “paradigm shift” in state regulation, said “The … [Read more...]

Energy Efficiency Up; Demand Response Down in PJM Capacity Auction

Energy efficiency cleared PJM’s forward capacity auction in record amounts this year, indicating again that the resource fares well when it competes with power plants in wholesale markets. PJM Interconnection holds the capacity auction each spring to ensure that it will have enough future resources within its turf. The grid operator serves an area … [Read more...]

How Washington, D.C. Is Overcoming the Great Energy Efficiency Dilemma

It is hard to see the business sense in asking a company to sell less of its product. Yet, that is pretty much how the US handles energy efficiency. Call it the great dilemma of energy efficiency: Utilities make their profits selling energy. Government asks them to sell less to achieve state energy efficiency goals. “You are asking a for-profit … [Read more...]

Can You See the Power Plant in this Photo? No? Welcome to the Age of the Virtual Power Plant

No one likes to admit it, but we’ve all got a little NIMBY in us.  Energy is a good thing, yes, but Not in My Backyard. Power plants just aren’t pretty. That’s why it’s intriguing to see Charlottesville, Virginia – my backyard – on the cutting-edge of a new approach: the virtual power plant, one that you cannot see, smell, hear or touch. That’s … [Read more...]