Flywheels help Alaska’s remote microgrids go to 95% renewable energy

15 Oct 2017 NPR  Seafood processors like Ocean Beauty are some of the largest energy consumers in Kodiak, Alaska, which has generated more than 99 percent of its electricity from renewable sources since 2014. Here, the Ocean Beauty seafood plant. Eric Keto/Alaska’s Energy Desk This archipelago in the Gulf of Alaska is home to one of the busiest commercial fishing …

Needing to price resilience

Excerpt from Too often electric resilience — the ability to withstand or bounce back from an outage — is an intangible in the minds of energy users, he said. They don’t consider the cost of downtime, even though power outages create clear financial losses that can be quantified – and that microgrids can avert. For example, a supermarket may lose hundreds …

A fire department in Puerto Rico is now powered by solar: ‘It’s a matter of life and death’

By Tucker Higgins 13 Oct 2017 CNBC.com @tuckerhiggins  An American solar company installs solar-powered microgrids at a San Juan fire station that had been relying on a diesel generator. The 4 kilowatt solar array with battery storage will provide electricity to the communications system, which has been down since Hurricane Maria struck the island. Only 17 percent of residents on the island …

Online platform, Project Navigator, provides the tools and guidance to assist in developing renewable mini-grid projects, with best practices to assist project developers in preparing, developing, and operating bankable projects

New addition to IRENA’s Project Navigator has the best practices for developing mini-grid projects in Small Island Developing States Small Island Developing States (SIDS) can transform their power sectors towards renewable energy, addressing the challenges of affordable energy and climate change. In this context, renewable mini-grid solutions, composed of electricity generators and storage systems interconnected to a distribution network which …

Distributed energy resources (DERs) have greater reliability and resilience at lower costs

The Importance of Distribution-Scale Solar for Grid Resilience September 22, 2017  |  By Titiaan Palazzi and Laurie Guevara-Stone with RMI.org When Hurricanes Harvey and Irma blew through the southern United States, they left millions without power. During such natural disasters, access to electricity is more critical than ever, allowing hospitals to run medical equipment, letting people charge phones and computers to communicate with the outside world, …

India to electrify every home by December 2018 using solar, storage and LEDs

By Tom Kenning, 26 Sep 2017,  PV-Tech   The INR163 billion (US$2.5 billion) ‘Saubhagya Yojna’ scheme is aimed at both rural and urban households. Credit: ADDevol Design Studio Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has launched a new programme to electrify every willing household in the country by 31 December 2018, using solar, energy storage batteries and LED lighting. The INR163 billion (US$2.5 …

Microgrids considered for support in disasters can also be used for storage year round, unlike diesel generators

Reuters on Monday reported 80% of the island’s power lines are down, and the island is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis.   Acccording to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, last year almost half of Puerto Rico’s electricity came from petroleum, more than a third from natural gas, and 17% from coal. Just 2% came from renewable energy. Modernization has been …

Overview of microgrids, challenges and next steps

Communities all over the country are finding ways to break the macro barriers to microgrids. As we flip from a top-down to bottom-up grid management structure, major policy barriers must be lifted in order to expand energy democracy to customers and producers. DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT from the Institute for Local Self Reliance  Executive Summary The electric grid is no longer …

Utility as a B-corp

By Diane Cardwell, NYTimes.com, 29 July 2017 – Utility Helps Wean Vermonters From the Electric Grid: Green Mountain Power is trying to turn homes, neighborhoods and towns into virtual power plants, driven by economics as well as environmental goals. WALTHAM, Vt. — In a new low-income development that replaced a trailer park here, rooftop solar panels sparkle in the sun while backup batteries …

Nanogrids, Microgrids, and Big Data: The Future of the Power Grid: Distributed generation and automated transactions will change how we produce and consume electricity

Developing technology is like driving a race car: You push the machinery as fast as it’ll go, and if you can avoid a crash, a prize awaits you at the finish line. For engineers, the reward is sometimes monetary, but more often it’s the satisfaction of seeing the world become a better place. Thanks to many such engineers driving many such …