Here’s a truism as big as Texas: You just never know where and when change is going to come.
Last night, I watched the Detroit Lions roar into the home stadium of defending Super Bowl champ Kansas City Chiefs and win the first game of the NFL season. Granted, it’s only one game and Patrick Mahome’s receiver couldn’t catch the ball at key moments, but it offered proof that Detroit’s rise last season was no fluke. Times are a’changing in unlikely places.
Today, we bring you stories from very different places—a massively busy port on the West Coast and then the heart of rock-ribbed conservative Texas. In the former story, Kathy Hitchens writes about a fascinating development in which FuelCell Energy’s system will produce electricity and hydrogen for Toyota’s processing fleet at the Port of Long Beach. Hydrogen, or H2, does not contain carbon in its chain and thus does not emit carbon dioxide when combusted. Electrolyzers and clean energy will help Toyota decarbonize its port fleet operations immensely over time, proving that even the automobile industry can be a fellow traveler on the many paths to net zero.
In the Lone Star state, there’s a saying that there’s hot and then there’s Texas hot. Excessive temperatures had residents cranking down the thermostat leading to record peak demand this week—and for the umpteenth time this year. The load got so high that the grid was hanging by a slender margin of remaining generating capacity. This also happened during February 2021, of all times, when Winter Storm Uri punctured the Texas comfort zone and nearly brought down the grid managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
Here's the catch: Texas, land of oil and gas, is now a national leader in utility-scale wind energy, new-gen development of microgrids and distributed energy resources. Utilities and microgrid developers are being encouraged and funded to grow the DER base to create virtual power plants and power resiliency for the long-term future. And that’s a future you can hang your ten-gallon hat on.
The only constant in life is change, but that doesn’t mean you know from whence it comes. But it comes. Bet your bottom dollar on that.
Editor's Note: This introduction came in our most recent Microgrid Knowledge Newsletter. Click here to read more about the Microgrid Revolution and subscribe to our free newsletter.