Interior Gives VI Energy Office $625000 to Support Energy Resilience at Hurricane Shelters

The Virgin Islands Energy Office (VIEO) was chosen as a recipient of $625,000 in Fiscal Year 2019 funding under the Energizing Insular Communities (EIC) grant program, funded and administered through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs. The VIEO will utilize the grant to develop a Solar Plus Storage Micro-Grid pilot project that will be integrated at the St. Croix Educational Complex’s emergency hurricane shelter. The micro-grid will enable the emergency shelter to function reliably during extended grid outages and significantly reduce the use of fossil fuel generators that have proven difficult to maintain and costly to fuel.

Top Federal Energy Official Visits Alabama Power’s Smart Neighborhood

Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette toured a home at Reynolds Landing in Hoover, where Alabama Power partnered with Signature Homes, Southern Company, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and technology vendors to create the Smart Neighborhood. Reynolds Landing homes feature emerging energy-efficient technologies, materials and appliances. The neighborhood is connected to a nearby community-scale solar energy system with natural gas and battery backup, the first of its kind in the Southeast.

Let’s Kill ‘Utility-‘ or ‘Grid-Scale’ Storage

Ask people how they segment the energy storage industry, and you’ll often hear them divide it between customer-sited or behind-the-meter storage and “utility-“or “grid-scale storage.” But if you then ask them what they mean by “utility-scale,” you can’t get a clear answer. Is it 5 MW, 10 MW, more than 20 MW? Do they mean “front-of-meter”? Or connected to the bulk transmission system? No, we’re not calling for the end of the large-scale storage industry. We’re saying that distributed, smaller-scale storage can provide all the same value to the grid that large-scale storage can and should be explicitly encouraged to compete on playing fields that policymakers have leveled everywhere.

Rebuilding for Resilience

The islands of the Caribbean have been focusing on the deployment of storage solutions, minigrids and microgrids in response to the damage their power systems suffered during the 2017 hurricane season.

California’s Shutting Off Power to Prevent Fires. Here Are Some Better Options.

California’s major utility may shut off power across most of the San Francisco Bay Area this week to prevent fires as dry, windy weather closes in. But surely, the world’s fifth largest economy can figure out a better long-term strategy than periodically leaving hundreds of thousands of people in the dark. Some argue that particularly fire-prone regions on the wildland-urban interface could disconnect from the larger grid and rely on local renewables generation and storage entirely.

Oregon Utility Partners with Cities to Achieve Resiliency with Microgrids

Beaverton is the second Oregon city that will embrace microgrids for resiliency, working with utility Portland General Electric (PGE), which says it plans additional partnerships with cities. PGE’s microgrid projects are designed in part to provide resiliency if and when an earthquake hits the Oregon coast. The city of Beaverton will own their new emergency operations center, 300 kW of solar PV, and a 1,000 kW diesel standby generator. PGE will own the 250 kW storage system, which it will use, when available, for frequency control