EarthSpark’s Haiti Microgrid “Fared Comparatively Well” in Hurricane Matthew & Other News

Oct. 19, 2016
EarthSpark’s Haiti microgrid fared relatively well in Hurricane Matthew, but the team needs help in restoring power for relief efforts…Duquesne Light completes microgrid feasibility study…Green Charge and PG&E to team on distributed energy storage…Smart cities vulnerable to hacking?…New York to install 300 electric vehicle charging stations

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EarthSpark Team Seeks Help Restoring Haiti Microgrid

A team from EarthSpark, a non-profit that has developed a microgrid in Haiti, was caught in the hard-hit area of Les Anglais where Hurricane Matthew made landfall earlier this month.

The team is safe, and they are now repairing the Les Anglais microgrid which they said fared comparatively well during the storm. Most buildings in the area were destroyed or severely damaged when the Category 4 hurricane made landfall.

The microgrid’s generation system is still largely intact and only 25 percent of the solar panels were lost, according to a blog posted on EarthSpark’s site.

EarthSpark is restoring the microgrid and working on the distribution system. Spring Power & Gas, an energy retailer providing electricity and gas supply services to Maryland and New Jersey, and others are donating to the cause.

“The recent events of Hurricane Matthew are a tragedy and Spring Power & Gas encourages people to come together to help Haiti, and organizations like EarthSpark that are working hard to provide relief, aid, and long-term solutions to the thousands affected by this devastating event,” said Richard Booth, president of retail operations, Spring Power and Gas.

EarthSpark has been working since 2009 to eradicate energy poverty in Haiti. The organization developed the Les Anglais microgrid in 2012, bringing electricity to the town for the first time. The team expanded the project to 430 connections in 2015, so that it could directly serve 2,000 people with 24-hour electricity mostly from solar and battery storage.

Donations to EarthSpark can be made here.

Duquesne Light completes microgrid feasibility study

Duquesne Light has recently completed a feasibility study for a microgrid at its Woods Run facility in Pittsburgh and selected an engineering and construction firm to help design and build the microgrid.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering is assisting with the project, which will serve the utility’s six-building Wood’s Run facility.

The team is now finalizing the scope of work, as well as timing, to prepare for the final design phase, according to a Duquesne Light spokeswoman.

Green Charge and PG&E to team on aggregated distributed energy storage 

Green Charge will develop and aggregate a fleet of distributed energy storage systems in San Jose, California in a partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric.

The storage systems will be installed at customers’ sites, as part of PG&E’s Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) pilot.

The aggregations will support the grid during periods of high electric demand, providing capacity relief at distribution substations. It also will provide several grid services including voltage anomaly mitigation and economic dispatch, via automated control signals.

Smart cities vulnerable to hacking?

Cybersecurity company Tripwire says that smart cities plans are forgetting to consider cybersecurity — and they shouldn’t.

Smart cities will be vulnerable to cyberattacks, according to 98 percent of those recently surveyed by the company. Smart cities use IT solutions to manage a wide range of city services, including smart grids, transportation, surveillance cameras, wastewater treatment and more.

The Tripwire survey found that 38 percent of respondents believe smart grids have the greatest cyber security risks when compared to other smart city services. Over half (55 percent) said that they believe cities do not devote adequate cybersecurity resources to smart city initiatives.

“Security isn’t usually glamorous, and it can be difficult to sell the need for added time and cost on a project, even when it’s to ensure that services are secure,” said Tim Erlin, senior director of IT security and risk strategy for Tripwire. “Smart city initiatives are pushing the technological envelope for urban infrastructure management, and it’s clear from the survey results that cyber security is being left out of the conversation.”

Tripwire surveyed 203 information technology professionals working for state and local government in June. The survey results are here.

New York to install 300 electric vehicle charging stations

New York has signed a contract for 300 electric vehicle charging stations at public locations across the state, a move toward a goal of getting 3,000 installed by 2018.

New York already has 1,600 charging stations installed. Also a center of microgrid development, New York is trying to reduce greenhouse gases 40 percent by 2030.

The EV charging effort, called ChargeNY, is a core initiative of Reforming the Energy Vision, an evolving policy being watched by other states as a possible model for a distributed energy grid

New York plans to make infrastructure and services from the 300 stations available to governmental customers at lower costs and favorable financing as part of its standard portfolio of energy efficiency services to these customers. This complements rebates for charging station infrastructure recently offered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to municipalities.

Check out the three LinkedIn Groups run by Microgrid Knowledge: Community Microgrids & Local Energy, Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) and Microgrid Knowledge.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is the editor and founder of She is co-founder and former editor of Microgrid Knowledge.

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