Osie Adelfang

So, What is a Microgrid, Exactly?

what is a microgrid

Extreme weather events, environmental concerns, and energy economics are bringing microgrids into public discourse in the grid-connected world. The energy landscape is suddenly changing very quickly, and microgrids are a big part of that change. The entire world — every corner of it — is finally looking at the potential for microgrids to fill many needs. But what is a microgrid? A microgrid can be defined as an independent power network that uses […]

Hybrid Storage Systems to Power-Charge Energy Storage Growth

Which markets are best suited for battery storage and storage hybrids? Which regulations and incentives support or impede the implementation of standalone storage and battery hybrids? HOMER Energy’s John Glassmire, Steffi Klawiter, and Dhiwaakar Rajasekaran — along with the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA) — answer these questions and provide key storage hybrid market insights in a groundbreaking new white paper.

From Maria to Microgrids: Why Puerto Rico’s Energy Future Should Be Built on Distributed Energy

Concrete power line poles lie on a highway after Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico has a very long and politicized electrical grid history, and politics will play a big role in how the island territory will recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria, a category 4 storm that hit the island on September 20, 2017. Puerto Rico, barely recovering from Hurricane Irma, was devastated by Maria, a storm so large and so direct that its eye alone literally covered the entire island. The storm destroyed more than three-fourths of the island’s power infrastructure, leaving Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million residents without power. Current estimates are that most of the country won’t be back on-grid for months.

Microgrid Controller, Components Enhance SolarTAC’s New GridNXT Test Facility

On the HOMER InternationaI Microgrid Conference (HIMC2017) “bonus day,” HOMER Energy invited attendees to tour a number of microgrid-related facilities in the Denver area. I was lucky enough to attend all three tours along with microgrid industry professionals from around the world. The highlight for me was the last tour of the day, a visit to a solar testing facility near Denver International Airport.

HOMER’s HIMC2017 Highlights: Presentations, Panels, Training, and Tours

On Monday, September 18, HIMC2017 kicked off in Denver with a welcome from HOMER Energy CEO Dr. Peter Lillienthal.

We’re just catching up from HOMER Energy‘s HOMER International Microgrid Conference (HIMC2017), which took place this week near our home base, in Denver, Colorado. Approximately 200 attendees participated in presentations about new technologies and industry developments, panel discussions covering on-grid and off-grid topics and including case studies from the Pacific Islands, Haiti, Alaska, and other locations around the world. We’re planning a series of upcoming blog posts here at Microgrid News & Insight, covering […]

Lessons from Irma and Harvey: Time for Transition to Resilient Renewable-Energy Microgrids

hurricane grid failure

Our out-of-date fossil-fuel-based infrastructure is failing a world where climate change is bringing more frequent, more extreme, more intense weather to the planet. And the lesson, if we are smart enough to learn it, is that as long as we’re dependent on fossil fuels, these weather events and other related disasters will wreak long-lasting havoc on human lives, the economy, and on the environment.

NREL: Using Stored Energy for Demand Charge Reduction Brings Significant Savings

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Clean Energy Group (CEG) released last week a comprehensive public analysis of U.S. demand charges — the tariffs commercial customers pay to use utility-based electricity in times of high demand — and the potential benefits of demand charge reduction to the millions of customers currently paying premium prices during those peak electricity use periods.  Peak demand charges affect not only companies but nonprofits, communities, public buildings, […]

Move to Distributed, Renewable Power Inevitable, Even in Areas Served by Utilities

grid defection

New distributed energy technologies and business models bring many unprecedented choices in how we create and distribute power. There are three overarching questions, of course: Is this energy model resilient against power outages and grid failure? Is it socially and environmentally responsible? Does it benefit the bottom line?
We are no longer stuck with grid power that doesn’t provide a definitive “Yes!” answer to all three questions. 

NREL’s ESIF Issues Annual Call for User Access Proposals

call for proposalsESIF. Photo via Smith Group JJR.

HOMER Energy — whose HOMER Pro prototype was developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) — announces the NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF)  annual call for user access proposals. The call for proposals is now open through August 1, 2017, for projects focused on advancing grid modernization, energy systems integration, and renewable generation. The ESIF facility is the DOE’s first user facility conducting integrated megawatt-scale research, development, and demonstration of the components and […]

Lessons from Island Microgrid Projects: RMI at HIMC2017

island microgrid projectsIsland microgrid projects are a model for microgrids all over the globe

Island microgrids — independent from the traditional grid by nature — provide important insights for other off-grid energy projects around the world. Sharing their extensive experience and expertise at the upcoming Homer International Microgrid Conference  (HIMC2017)  are two island microgrid experts from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). Kaitlyn Bunker, Ph.D, and Owen Lewis will lead a session titled “Developing Island Microgrids in the Caribbean,” a topic that resonates deeply with the conference theme: […]