Weekly Microgrid News — March 1, 2017
On the Italian island of Sardinia, development of a 1.2 MW hybrid microgrid underway incorporates concentrating solar power (CSP), a different approach from the more common use of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in microgrids. CSP condenses the sun’s rays into a small area, typically through the use of mirrors or lenses, to produce heat and steam for electric generation. In the U.S., large CSP plants can be found in the Southwest and in Florida. The Italian microgrid includes 0.6 MW of CSP, including thermal storage, along with 0.6 MW of concentrating photovoltaics.
The Air Force Research Laboratory is setting the stage for military installations moving to resilient, cleaner, and cost-competitive energy solutions. AFRL’s Advanced Power Technology Office and the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies have initiated the design of the Pacific Energy Assurance and Resiliency Laboratory, or (PEARL), a renewable energy microgrid laboratory that is part of an ongoing effort to demonstrate new ways military facilities can address energy needs. PEARL will allow researchers to evaluate renewable energy generation, storage, and control technologies.
Despite the scale of the challenge, the Government of India has committed to supplying electricity to all its villages by May 2018 and to provide 24-7 power to all households by 2019. Unlike previous targets, this time around there seems to be more excitement and belief that the targets might indeed be achievable. The most recent sign for optimism is India’s draft National Policy on Renewable Energy-based Microgrids, which will establish at least 10,000 renewable-based microgrid projects across the country.
As we reported last week, North Dakota lawmakers were pushing for a two-year moratorium on wind energy in order to “save coal.” Wind has seen tremendous growth in the state as the coal industry has been declining. The proposed amendment to a state energy study bill was defeated by a voice vote before the study passed the state senate.
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