Archive: Smart Grid

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 […]

Microgrid equipment at the National Wind Technology Center in Colorado. | Photo courtesy of the National Renewable Energy Lab.

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 […]


NYISO Opens Smart Control Center

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) this April replaced its 44-year-old primary power control center with a state-of-the-art facility in Rensselaer County that is outfitted with digital monitoring


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 […]


OIG: Grid Threats Should Have Stayed Classified

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) should have classified and protected a sensitive grid-related document created by its staff, the Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said in a memorandum on Wednesday.  Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) requested that the inspector general investigate sensitive information leaks suspected to have originated […]

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Using Spent EV Batteries for Grid Storage

One of the world’s first power storage systems employing used electric vehicle (EV) batteries began operating on Japan’s Yumeshima Island in Osaka this February. The 600 kW/400 kWh system developed by Tokyo-based Sumitomo Corp. consists of 16 EV batteries that were recovered and inspected by the Sumitomo and Nissan Motor Co. joint venture 4R Energy […]

Federal Cybersecurity Framework Calls for Increased Vigilance

The energy industry, already familiar with the latest iteration of the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) reliability standards, should take note: Meeting


Earth Dodged Grid-Destroying Solar Storm in 2012, Says Study

A massive coronal mass ejection (CME)—commonly known as a solar storm—in July 2012 could have rivaled the worst recorded event from 1859 had it hit the Earth, according to a study published Mar. 18 in Nature Communications. Research at the University of California, Berkeley, and by Chinese scientists into a magnetic storm on July 23, […]