Archive: Smart Grid

CAISO Goes Big and Leaves Home

No one can accuse the officials who oversee California’s energy market of lacking ambition. Fresh on the heels of Gov. Jerry Brown’s January promise to raise the state’s renewable generation target from 33% in 2020 to 50% in 2030, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) in April announced that it and Oregon utility and Berkshire […]


Murkowski Introduces Array of Energy Bills

In the opening move of what is certain to be a long and contentious process, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, introduced a suite of bills covering a broad range of energy issues, from infrastructure to regulatory reform to civil enforcement. Along with several others introduced by […]

When Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on May 6, 2015, the discussion ranged from recent meetings with Iranian leaders over their nuclear bomb-making capabilities to domestic energy infrastructure. Courtesy: Comedy Central

Sec. Moniz Covers Full Range of Energy Department Work in Daily Show Appearance

In his May 6 appearance on Comedy Central’s Daily Show, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz addressed both the military and civilian energy issues that the Department of Energy is responsible for. His discussion with host Jon Stewart ranged from the recent negotiations with Iran over that nation’s capability to enrich fissile material to domestic energy […]

Prepare Your Renewable Plant for Cold Weather Operations

Last winter’s polar vortex was a reminder that, despite several years of mild winters, colder months can still pack a wallop. Decades of coal, gas, and nuclear plant operations have taught plant operators


California Wants Proposals for Renewable-Powered Microgrids

The California Energy Commission (CEC) issued a solicitation for proposals earlier this month to fund projects that will demonstrate the feasibility of renewable energy and storage–powered microgrids. A total of $26.5 million in funding is available for three groups of potential projects: low-carbon-based microgrids for critical facilities, high-penetration renewable-based microgrids, and advanced smart and bidirectional […]

RWE AG Head of Group Strategy & Corporate Development Thomas Birr

RWE’s Thomas Birr on Corporate Strategy in a Changing German Electricity Ecosystem

RWE AG is Europe’s third-largest electricity and fifth-largest gas marketer, with holdings in upstream oil and gas production, power grids, and energy trading. Its German power subsidiary has been the utility poster child for the effects of the Energiewende, the transformation of the Germany power system away from nuclear and coal toward renewable energy and […]

EEI We Stand For Energy campaign

The EEI’s Campaign for Electric Utility Industry Supremacy

At the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) annual meeting this week in Las Vegas, the tone was one of collaboration with partners from Washington to distributed generation companies. Those partnerships will be needed as the investor-owned utility (IOU) industry fights not so much a war on coal as a war for mindshare and wallet share in […]

SPIDERS microgrid program, Sandia National Laboratories

Military Microgrids: Wanted and Needed but Tough to Deploy

Anyone who follows either the energy industry or the military knows that all branches of the U.S. military have aggressive goals for renewable energy and for improving energy security and independence. Microgrids are a key part of that plan. When I wrote about military microgrids in “The Military Gets Smart Grid” back in January 2012, […]

Borrego Springs microgrid components. Operated by San Diego Gas & Electric.

Interest Growing in Commercial and Community Microgrids

Aside from places where microgrids have a track record—educational, industrial, and commercial campuses—commercial and community microgrids are still the domain of early adopters, but the number of people wanting to travel the trail they are blazing is increasing. A microgrid is any collection of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources within clearly defined electrical boundaries […]

Hawaii map

Islands Are the Low-Hanging Fruit for Microgrids

If you’re looking for the easiest place to deploy microgrid technology, look at islands. That was the general consensus of presenters at the 4th Military & Commercial Microgrids Summit in Washington, D.C., held June 17-19. In addition to a presentation about a microgrid being developed for Necker Island—owned by Sir Richard Branson, founder of the […]