Launch Alaska Funds Microgrid-Related Technology…Plus News from Australia and Maryland

Feb. 15, 2018
Microgrid-related technology wins Launch Alaska funds…Indra to install next-generation microgrid on Australian campus…Maryland offers tax credits for energy storage
Microgrid-related technology wins Launch Alaska funds

Launch Alaska has selected four companies, some with microgrid-related technology, to participate in its 2018 business accelerator in Anchorage, Alaska.

The participants will complete a four-month intensive program and receive mentorship, business training, business services, and $75,000 in exchange for equity in their companies. The program offers them an opportunity to test their technologies in remote and harsh conditions.

The winners are:

  • BoxPower, which has developed the world’s largest containerized hybrid renewable energy system
  • Carter Wind, a manufacturer of next generation wind turbine technology that is self-erecting and designed for utility, distributed and microgrid applications in the most remote, extreme environments
  • Correlate, a virtual energy manager for businesses that leverages an artificial intelligence platform for low-cost, custom energy programs
  • Omega Grid, a peer-to-peer blockchain energy platform

“The companies selected for the Launch Alaska program offer promising innovations for the energy sector here in Alaska and globally,” said Isaac Vanderburg, manager director, Launch Alaska.

Alaska electricity costs are five times the national average, as high as 40 cents/kWh in rural communities. Energy consumption also runs high. Together, these factors make Alaska hungry for energy innovation, which has contributed to its focus on microgrids.

Alaska boasts 12 percent of the world’s microgrids, making it the global leader for deployments. Launch Alaska expects microgrid technology to be the focus of at least half of the 30 energy-related companies it plans to foster over the next two years.

Indra to install next-generation microgrid on Australian campus

Global consulting and technology company Indra is teaming with Monash University to design and install a next-generation microgrid at the Australian school’s Clayton campus.

The microgrid is based on Indra’s IoT platform, which will automatically balance generation, operation and demand to reduce costs and improve electric reliability.

“In less than three months, Indra and Monash have installed a fully operational platform capable of not only retrieving data from measurements in solar photovoltaic facilities, distribution transformers and smart building management systems, but also sending orders to all of them in only a fraction of a second,” said Tony Fullelove, director of Monash University’s Net Zero Energy Program.

The next phases in the microgrid’s development includes increased predictive asset maintenance control, the creation of a peer-to-peer market (transactive energy market) and study of new engagement scenarios in collaboration with various distribution network service providers.

The university has committed to invest $135 million in energy transformation over the next 13 years to achieve its goal of zero emissions.  This will include energy efficiency measures such as LED lights, campus electrification, onsite renewable energies and external renewable energy purchase agreements.

The resulting energy savings should translate into a significant reduction in costs, which could be $15 million per year in 2028.

“The microgrid is an essential element to reaching this goal, since it helps the university to control when and how energy is used across the campus,” said Giovanni Polizzi, energy solutions manager for Indra in Australia.

Indra predicts that by 2020, the university will be generating seven gigawatt-hours, enough to power 1,000 homes for a year.

Maryland offers tax credits for energy storage

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is now accepting applications for the 2018 Energy Storage Tax Credit Program. MEA may award up to $750,000 dollars in energy storage tax credits on a first come, first served basis while funding is available.

The program is designed to provoke interest in the burgeoning Maryland energy storage market. The program is available to eligible residential and commercial taxpayers who have installed a qualifying energy storage system on their residential or commercial property in Maryland during 2018.

Currently, a total of $225,000 dollars has been reserved for residential taxpayers and $525,000 dollars has been reserved for commercial taxpayers.

More information on the energy storage tax credit and applications can be found on the MEA website.

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