Archive: Distributed Energy

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, […]

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 […]

The State of the Microgrid Market: Promise and Present Realities

If, as Navigant Research suggests, the global microgrid market will exceed $40 billion annually by 2020, where is all the capacity going, and what’s fueling it (literally and figuratively)? Peter Asmus, a long-time researcher of smart grid technologies at Navigant, shared that market projection and others at the 4th Military & Commercial Microgrids Summit in […]

Federal Court Throws Out FERC Effort to Boost Demand Response

In a major setback for efforts to support demand response, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit threw out Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order 745, finding that the rule overstepped state authority to regulate retail electricity markets. FERC Order 745, issued in 2011, required the nation’s Independent System Operators (ISOs) […]

David Crane and the Coming Electric Utility Apocalypse

Several years ago, Jean and Bob Galey of Catoctin Creek Farm in rural western Maryland installed solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the south-facing roof of one of their outbuildings. Since then, they’ve

Oklahoma Allows Infrastructure Cost Recovery for Distributed Generation

Oklahoma’s Gov. Mary Fallin (R) on Monday signed into law a measure that would allow regulated electric utilities to recover revenues needed to pay for transmission infrastructure as the number of distributed generation users increases.  Senate Bill 1456, which drew strong opposition from environmental and distributed generation groups, reversed a 1977 law that prohibited public […]

DOE to Open $4B More in Loan Guarantees for Renewables, Energy Efficiency Projects

The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to make an additional $4 billion in loan guarantees available to help commercialize U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases. The DOE on Wednesday issued a draft loan guarantee solicitation under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (through Section […]

Industry Leaders, Experts Testify on How to Keep the Lights On

Ten witnesses from federal and state regulatory agencies, a public power entity, environmental groups, and power companies today outlined a number of threats to the bulk power system’s reliability in a Senate hearing to assess whether enough was being done to keep the lights on. General measures to address day-to-day issues affecting reliability—such as tree […]