Happy New Year!

2015 is off to a roaring start here at Microgrid News and HOMER Energy. We have big news this month about some important software updates (and some price changes, too). So please be sure to read those stories, as there is a small window of opportunity in which to save significant money by acting quickly.

We first rebranded the "HOMER Energy Newsletter" as "Microgrid News by HOMER Energy" in June of 2013, in response to growth in the microgrid market and no focused news coverage. Although we continue to maintain a "HOMER focus," covering our own company news, the amount of external news available to cover is now growing exponentially. So in 2015 we are working with industry specialists to continue to bring you news of the market as a whole. We have redesigned the Microgrid News website and moved it to a platform that is better able to meet these growing needs.

We thank our over 60,000 subscribers, and our industry, component, academic, and media partners for your continuing support. We are certain that 2015 is going to be a breakthrough year for an industry that has been in the works for decades, and we look forward to sharing it with you.

The Team at HOMER Energy and Microgrid News: Peter L, Marilyn W, Diane R, Diane D, David R, Jon A, Howard A, John G, Nmuta J, Michael W, Laura C, Linda P, and Sprite the Office Mascot

Act Soon! HOMER Pro 3.1 and Price Changes Coming

As we announced in December 2014, the first major upate for HOMER Pro, version 3.1, is scheduled for release this coming Tuesday, January 20th. The launch special pricing that we offered for HOMER Pro 3.0 users is also ending at that time. Because this is a free update, purchasing HOMER Pro by the end of Monday will give you the launch special on the new product. And of course everyone who has already purchased HOMER Pro will be eligible for this free update on the core product.

Some of the many new features of HOMER Pro 3.1 include greatly improved performance, enhanced graphing and plotting capability, new wind turbines, a new hydrokinetic component, Vanadium batteries, ability to hide ads, new load efficiency specifiers, file compare, ability to model your own batteries and wind turbines, and two new add-on modules - hydrogen and advanced grid. The hydrogen module is similar to HOMER 2 capabilities, and the advanced grid module offers scheduled outages and the ability to model complex rate structures, including real-time rates.

So if you haven't taken advantage of the special pricing, don't delay. Get HOMER Pro now.

Best Practices in Microgrids for Rural Electrification

The United Nations Foundation Foundation has published a seminor report on microgrids: Microgrids for Rural Electrification: A critical review of best practices based on seven case studies. They focus on small remote microgrids for energy access. These energy access microgrids are one of the four major microgrid markets as defined in HOMER Energy CEO Dr. Peter Lilienthal's article How to Classify Microgrids: Setting the Stage for a Distributed Generation Energy Future, which the UNF document cites several times.HOMER Energy has since updated their classification scheme to be more general. more

RMI and Carbon War Room Merge in Strategic Alliance

Two major non-profits that HOMER Energy has been actively engaged with in the microgrid and distributed generation space — the Rocky Mountain Institute, originally founded by energy futurist and visionary Amory Lovins, and the Carbon War Room, founded by Sir Richard Branson — announced a strategic merger last month, under a tag line of "Further, Faster, Together." The joining of forces of two visionary think tanks active in the microgrid space is yet more evidence of the brilliant future for this critical market. This RMI blog post announces the merger and the reasoning behind it.

Hybrid Energy Innovations - April 2015

Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015 - April 8-9 2015, New York City - will be the first event to cover a broad hybrid energy landscape. The event will include new techniques, technologies, and strategies for such hybrid energy forms including solar, wind, and hydro storage; hybrid solar/wind energy, combinations of such renewables as solar and wind with such fossil fuels as diesel and natural gas; hybrid tidal/wind energy, and solar chargers for electric vehicles. HOMER Energy CEO, Dr. Peter Lilienthal will speak at the conference. Discount registration is available through February 13, 2015.

Major Microgrid Battery System to be Deployed at Bakken Hale, Hawaii

Aquion Energy, Inc. has signed an agreement to supply a 1-megawatt-hour (MWh) battery system as part of an off-grid solar microgrid at Bakken Hale on the Island of Hawaii. “I want to demonstrate that using a solar and battery-powered microgrid is our best solution now. This installation will enable us to meet our around-the-clock power needs with solar generation and will reduce our fossil fuel usage by 97 percent,” said Earl Makken, owner of Bakken Hale. more

Massachusetts Awards $18M for Microgrids and Energy Resiliency

HOMER Energy worked with the Cadmus Group to assist the Commonweath of Massachusetts in determining how to spend more than $18 million in state aid to build microgrids for energy resiliency. Thirteen different projects were funded. The neighboring state of Connecticut has granted more than $30M in microgrid projects. These innovative state programs are in response to massive blackouts and energy emergencies that followed Superstorm Sandy. more

Microgrid Global Summit - March 2015

The Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California Irvine is once again hosting the Microgrid Global Summit - March 25 and 26, 2015. The conference brings together global experts from industry, government, and academia with the theme "Empowering a New World of Energy." HOMER Energy CEO Dr. Peter Lilienthal will speak. Registration and more information are available here.

The Microgrid Global Summit will follow immediately after the 15th Annual International Colloquium on Environmentally Preferred Advanced Power Generation (ICEPAG) Clean Energy Conference, at the same location. Discounts are available for registering at both events.

New Components in HOMER Pro 3.1

HOMER Pro version 3.1, scheduled for release on January 20, 2015, will include new wind turbines by Xant and Enerra and HOMER's first ever hydrokinetic turbine by Smart Hydro Power. Xant turbines are in the "small and easy" category, and Xant claims that it takes only one hour to set them up. Ennera is another "small wind" specialist turbine company that should hold considerable interest for many HOMER users. Germany company Smart Hydro Power have designed a hydrokinetic turbine that solves many problems in this class with great potential.

HOMER users can purchase version 3.0 at a reduced price through January 19th, and then immediately qualify for an update to 3.1 the next day.

Free Educational Webinar: Modeling the CellCube Energy Storage System in Connected and Remote Microgrids

HOMER Energy will team up with our industry and component partner American Vanadium to present a free, live webinar - Modeling the CellCube Energy Storage System in Connected and Remote Microgrids - at 12:00 noon Eastern Standard Time on February 18, 2015. HOMER Energy CEO and original HOMER software creator Dr. Peter Lilienthal will team up with American Vanadium executives and engineers for a firsthand view of how to most effectively model these components in HOMER.

Signup details are forthcoming, but be sure to save the date and sign up early, as our webinars have filled in the past.

Islanded Grid Windpower Conference and HOMER Training

HOMER Energy CEO Dr. Peter Lilienthal will speak at this 2.5-day conference, to be held at Anchorage's Alaska Pacific University on March 4-6, 2015. The even promises to provide an opportunity for participants to learn and share information about wind systems on island and islanded grid environments through expert panel discussions, stakeholder dialogue and training sessions. Attendees include researchers, operators, manufacturers, military and government officials, and other stakeholders. There will be an optional live HOMER training following the main event.

More information and registration at: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07eadndys3a3c98277&llr=hmdvnysab

MicroGrid Power Mix Management (MPMM) Solution

Nayang Technological University
Energy engineering group Alstom and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) (pictured) have announced a collaboration to design, develop and deploy a MicroGrid Power Mix Management (MPMM) solution in the context of the Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator - Singapore (REIDS) initiative. The two will jointly develop a unique MicroGrid Power Mix Management solution, based on Alstom’s Digital Automation Platform (DAP), which will manage power exchanges within a microgrid. This solution is to be implemented at NTU’s EcoCampus and subsequently on the Semakau Landfill, an offshore landfill between the islands Pulau Semakau and Pulau Sakeng, located south of the main island of Singapore. more

On-Demand Webinar:
Managing the Impact of Partial State of Charge (PSOC) in Cycling Batteries in Solar Microgrids

Partial state of charge is a critical issue in the design and management of solar microgrids. In this on-demand webinar, HOMER Energy joins market partner Trojan Battery Company to discuss the ways microgrid integrators can develop top-performing systems using HOMER simulations and Trojan industrial batteries with Smart Carbon technology. The webinar recording also includes all Q&A discussion from the live event held on Sept. 2. View webinar (registration required)

Upcoming Online Training for HOMER Pro Users

  • Introduction to HOMER Pro Modeling Software -- January 27 and 29 -- 100% online

  • Introduction to HOMER Pro Modeling Software -- February 13 and 20 -- 100% online

  • Gold Industry Partner:

    Northern Power Systems

    Silver Industry Partners:

    ABB Microgrid Solutions
    Schneider Electric
    Trojan Battery
    American Vanadium

    Discover Energy
    Sustainable Power Systems

    Alpha Energy

    Bronze Industry Partners:

    Sustainable Power Systems
    Smart Hydro Power

    Connect, Converse, Collaborate