HOMER Energy Convenes Microgrid Deployment Forum to Focus on Critical Steps for Successful Microgrid Energy Projects

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Boulder, CO, July 15, 2013HOMER Energy will convene Microgrid Deployment Forum 2013 in Cancun, Mexico, November 8 and 9, 2013, for the purpose of examining the business models, optimal technology mix, and critical steps necessary for deploying microgrids that are both technically and economically successful. This international forum will be the first microgrid conference to focus on the hands-on reality of creating microgrid projects – from identifying needs to optimizing design to lining up financing.

The Microgrid Deployment Forum conference goal is to bring together local project champions, technology suppliers, professional service providers, system owners, utilities, and other professionals from across the industry for one day of focused information sharing and networking and a second day of practical training and examination of use cases. The forum will directly follow the International Solar Energy Society’s Solar World Congress at the same location.

All microgrid segments will grow dramatically in the next decade, with the remote and island microgrid sector growing most quickly over the next 7 years, according to a recent report by Navigant Research. Creation of successful remote projects requires coordination among groups that don’t usually know each other – starting with local project champions, who need less expensive electricity but don’t know how to get it, to financiers who want to invest in the potentially lucrative microgrid market but need help finding projects. In between them are the engineers and design firms who will design, permit, and build the projects, the equipment providers, as well as local governments and the small utilities that serve them.

HOMER Energy is a focal point for microgrid development, because virtually everyone who has created a microgrid has used the HOMER (Hybrid Optimization of Multiple Energy Resources) software at some point in the process. Close to 100,000 people have downloaded the software, originally created at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Whereas other microgrid conferences have been convened primarily by media outlets or educational groups, HOMER Energy’s focus with Microgrid Deployment Forum 2013 is to create the knowledge base and relationships necessary for significant growth in the market. “Microgrids to date have primarily been focused on research and pilot projects, but the reality is that microgrids are economically viable today where diesel is the primary or sole source of power,” says HOMER CEO Peter Lilienthal, “Which means islands and remote locations. But doing it right means optimizing technology and economics at the same time as finding the right partners.”

Topics to be covered include:

  • Categories of microgrids and case studies
  • Architectural choices and conceptual design
  • Renewable penetration
  • DC vs. AC architectures
  • Project screening and business case analysis
  • Controls and power engineering
  • Storage and load management
  • Community relations and cultural issues in deploying microgrids
  • Permitting and contracting
  • Financing issues: off-taker creditworthiness, capital structures and incentives
  • Microgrid operations and business management

The conference steering committee includes experts from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Climate Business Department of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the UN Foundation’s Energy and Climate, Energy Access Initiative, the University of California Berkeley, and major industry representatives.

Speaking proposals are due by Friday, July 26, 2013.

For full information, visit www.microgridconference.com


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