Best Microgrid Knowledge Stories of 2017

Dec. 20, 2017
We asked the Microgrid Knowledge staff to choose their favorite stories of 2017, and cite events they believe had the most influence on the microgrid industry. Here’s what they had to say.

We asked the Microgrid Knowledge staff to select the best microgrid stories of 2017, and cite events they believe had the most influence on the industry. Here’s what they had to say.

Andrew Burger

Andrew Burger, contributing writer

Favorite Story:   I’d say that “Hurricane Harvey Creates New Abnormal for the Electric Grid” is my favorite story this year given its timeliness, and on the spot nature.

Most Influential Event: I’d say the successive hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria, was the most significant event for the microgrid industry this year. Story example: New York and Puerto Rico Propose $1B for Microgrids in Post-Maria Rebuild

Lisa Cohn

Lisa Cohn, editor

Favorite Story:  I most enjoyed writing this article:   Microgrid Kept Power on Even as the California Wildfires Caused Outages

First of all, Craig Wooster, general contractor for the microgrid project, gave me wonderful details, both personal and technical, that made the story come alive.

Second, the story shows very clearly how powerful microgrids can be during natural disasters.

Third, I was impressed and inspired by Stone Edge Farm’s passion, dedication and commitment to innovation.

Most Influential Event: I believe California’s commitment to moving the energy storage industry forward had a big impact on the industry and will continue to be important in the future. Here’s one example. Here’s another.

Cara Goman

Cara Goman, social media editor

Favorite Story: A favorite story is Renewables and Microgrids and Nothing Else: Crazy or Maybe? It’s inspiring to see states and countries around the world pursuing aggressive renewable energy goals and to imagine a “grid of grids” — microgrids and renewables for the one-two punch. I say, maybe! Let’s keep thinking big.

Most Influential Event: Impossible not to mention Hurricane Maria and the loss of the electric grid on Puerto Rico. Months later, a huge number of people on island are still without power. The hurricane’s devastation begs the question, what would be different for the people of Puerto Rico right now if there had been more microgrids? A close second is President Donald Trump’s move to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement and how U.S. cities — especially those that are pro-microgrid/renewable energy — reacted.
Kevin Normandeau

Kevin Normandeau, publisher

Favorite Story:  My favorite story was hard to choose as there were several good candidates including Lisa’s article on California wildfires, Andrew’s article on blockchain, etc. My favorite was the article on the new abnormal for the electrical grid: Hurricane Harvey Creates New Abnormal for the Electric Grid. What I like about it was how it showed that a microgrid helps companies like gas stations and strip malls prepare for disasters. These microgrid systems are not complex, provide year-round benefits, and they keep the business running when the community needs it most. Microgrid are not just for military hospitals, etc. but make good sense for most businesses.

Most Influential Event: From an impact standpoint I think the Bronzeville microgrid has the most potential. I know the commission has not yet ruled. But the grid of microgrids is a powerful opportunity, and I believe it is the future. So that gets my vote.

Sarah Rubenoff

Sarah Rubenoff, contributing writer

Favorite Story: My favorite article I’ve read recently on Microgrid Knowledge is the article on a microgrid operating through California wildfires (1.2K shares! Impressive.)

Most Influential Event: This, unfortunately, is also very relevant today with yet another wave of fires in California. I also tend to really like the stories, like this one, that focus on how microgrids are becoming increasingly important as climate change worsens and drought, storms, winds, etc., make natural disasters more prevalent.

Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood, editor-in-chief

Favorite Story: My top article isn’t actually an article, but a video posted on Microgrid Knowledge of Anne Pramaggiore’s keynote address at our Boston conference, Microgrid 2017. She offered an eloquent framing of what led to today’s microgrid era and the larger technology revolution and societal trends at play. As she spoke I looked around the room and was struck by the way the audience leaned into her talk. She listed key historical markers for innovation in the power industry Should Commonwealth Edison’s Bronzeville microgrid cluster become reality, I suspect it will be on such a list in the next quarter century.

Most Influential Event: My quick answer is Hurricane Maria and its destruction of Puerto Rico’s electric grid, an even more painful lesson than Superstorm Sandy on why we need more microgrids. Three months later, one-third of the island remains without power.

But I worry that this year’s hurricanes distracted us from a greater threat: cyberattack on the electric grid. If the attack is massive, our struggle to restore power – and the dire consequences to our health and safety – would make Puerto Rico’s problems appear small. It’s difficult to write about cyber issues without sounding hyperbolic. But the threat is that great, and we’re not focusing on it enough. Please take a look at this report “Microgrid Cybersecurity: Protecting and Building the Grid of the Future.

Meet the Microgrid Knowledge editors and staff at Microgrid 2018, May 7-9, Chicago. Register today! Microgrid 2017 sold out!

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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