HOMER Energy Blog & Opinion

HOMER Energy Explores Microgrid and Renewable Energy Solutions for Puerto Rico

Close to three months after Hurricane Maria swept across Puerto Rico, utterly destroying the island’s electrical grid – as well as countless homes and communities –  much of the island is still without power. And, where power has been restored, it is often unreliable. Puerto Rico’s aging electrical grid was already in bad shape, but a direct hit from Category 4 storm Maria dealt a catastrophic blow to the infrastructure of the Puerto […]

Discover AES® – Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries (LiFeP04 ) are transforming residential energy storage

This article is part of an occasional series that provides industry background and in-depth focus on the components that are available in HOMERⓇ Pro. What are the specifications of these products and what is the market context? We spoke with Discovery Battery’s representative, David Norman, to learn more:

HOMER Grid “Demand Charge Reducer” for C & I Electricity Customers

The continuing decline in prices for energy storage and solar is creating huge opportunities for large electricity consumers. The need to reduce utility demand charges is a key driver of investments in solar-plus-storage systems. These systems allow grid-connected commercial and industrial (C&I) electric customers to shift to their own generation when they need more electricity, avoiding spikes in demand that translate to costly charges.

2018 Trends That Will Impact Microgrid Development: Part One

Is it just our imagination or is the energy world, which seems to have been relatively predictable until we passed the millennium mark, now changing at breakneck speed? New ideas and new technologies seem to be bursting out in all directions, challenging old assumptions and upending business models. In the urgent search for solutions to our climate crisis, there is also optimism and the hope of a new energy paradigm.

Pioneering Remote Microgrids in Alaska

With its extreme weather conditions and isolated off-grid communities, Alaska is the American microgrid “frontier.” Over 200 remotely powered Alaskan villages are not connected to power grids. They are spread out over geographically varied regions with diverse energy resources, and have the highest energy costs in the US, sometimes up to 10 times the national average. This makes Alaska the perfect place to experiment with the renewable integration of microgrids.

Sigora Microgrid Provides Affordable, 24/7 Power to Haiti’s Impoverished Communities

Sigora HaitiSigora Haiti microgrid lights up Môle-Saint-Nicolas

How is it that the poorest country in Western Hemisphere is home to one of the world’s most sophisticated microgrid projects? Maybe fate has determined that the embattled people of Haiti deserve a break, after decades of earthquakes, hurricanes, massive flooding, corruption and gruesome political oppression. Or, maybe it’s because a group of idealistic energy geeks, together with a team of determined Haitians, decided to bring renewable energy to a rural  health clinic. […]

New HOMER® Pro Release Features Integration with Popular Solar PV Design Tools

HelioScope Screen Shot

The latest release of HOMERⓇ Pro – version 3.11 – is now integrated with two powerful tools for designing PV systems, HelioScope and PVsyst. This development is exciting to me for several reasons: For the distributed energy marketplace to really take off, we need many more people who are comfortable with designing distributed power systems that incorporate hybrid renewable energy components. And that means practical, user-friendly design tools. This development advances what I […]

How You Can Help Puerto Rico Rebuild Following Hurricane Maria

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

Many of you in the microgrid industry have asked me what we can do to help Puerto Ricans get the lights back on quickly, and cleanly. Seven weeks after Hurricane Maria wiped out 100% of the ailing power grid, 70% of Puerto Ricans still do not have electricity, and many expect it will take a full year to restore the whole island. We all know that solar + storage microgrids can be installed […]

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 […]

Comet ME’s Jubbet a-Dhib Microgrid — a HOMER Pro Case Study [UPDATED with Confiscation & Return, Reinstallation News]

Jubbet a-Dhib microgridThe returned solar panels are unloaded in Jubbet a-Dhib, a village in the West Bank, Palestine.

Ice Cream, Appliances, and Autonomy: Rural Electrification Project Lights West Bank Village (Read about a tragic update followed by positive outcome for Jubbet a-Dhib microgrid in updates below original post, which was first published April 28, 2017) On a recent trip to Palestine, I had the opportunity to meet with a long-time HOMER Energy customer, Comet-ME, an Israeli-Palestinian NGO bringing off-grid solar power to villages in “Area C” of the Occupied West Bank. […]