Written by David J. Unger, Midwest Energy News
Despite the heightened profile, microgrids – islandable networks of generation and distribution – remain a small part of the U.S. energy system, making up a fraction of a percent of the nation’s total power generating capacity. That is poised to change, according to a report released earlier this month by the National Electrical Manufacturing Association (NEMA), an industry group representing electrical, medical imaging, and radiation therapy manufacturers . . . The push to deploy more renewables – particularly as more states set aggressive renewable portfolio standards – will drive microgrid deployment, according to the NEMA report. And as the price of renewables and storage continues to drop, the business case for building microgrids will only improve. Click to read more.
Photo by Sandia National Laboratories of the Mesa Del Sol microgrids
ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST
‘Tectonic shifts’ reshape energy landscape, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The falling price of renewable energy, efforts to address climate change and the proliferation of Big Data are key trends upending the way the power grid has operated for the last 100 years. Those trends were highlighted by speakers from industry and academia Monday at an international electrical engineering conference, the Energy Conversion Congress, that’s taking place this week in Milwaukee.
Customers Will Have Say In Future Energy Options For Grand Rapids, Hibbing Daily Tribune
Local residents and businesses may soon have the option of purchasing electricity produced by a community solar garden and/or a forest-derived biomass facility. Between Sept. 23 – Oct. 25, the Grand Rapids Public Utilities Commission will be mailing surveys to its electric customers explaining possible renewable energy services. The responses received will help the GRPUC gauge the level of customer interest in pursuing solar or biofuel opportunities.
The Clean Revolution Is On, The Climate Group Blog
Today the clean energy revolution is upon us. This rapid transition is being driven by a wave of innovation that is creating jobs, increasing profitability and making our communities healthier. In less than a decade, the prices of solar and wind power have fallen 80% and 50%, respectively, to the point that they compete with fossil fuels in many parts of the country. In places like Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, onshore wind power can now be bought for less than 3 cents per kilowatt-hour — some of the cheapest power in the land.
SEIA launches national solar PV recycling program, Utility Dive
“Our goal is make the entire solar industry landfill-free,” said Tom Kimbis, SEIA’s interim president, to PVSolarReport. This sentiment to reach “zero waste to landfill” is growing in popularity across many other industries, including retail and food and beverage, due to its economic implications and consumers’ growing desire for sustainable products.
A new interactive web tool, Renewables.ninja allows you to run simulations of hourly power output from wind and solar PV power plants by clicking anywhere on the map or using the location search box, choosing your technology from the side menu, and hitting “Run”. You can also download ready-made datasets on Renewables.ninja’s downloads page. The app is in beta, and your feedback is welcome.