Australian State to issue $15.8M Microgrid RFP and Opportunities from NREL and USTDA

May 4, 2017
Victoria, Australia plans to issue a $15.8M microgrid RFP…NREL seeks microgrid controller…USTDA funds Nigerian microgrid study
Victoria, Australia plans microgrid RFP

The government of Victoria, Australia, says it will issue a microgrid RFP that offers $15.8 million over four years for demonstration projects that use renewable energy, energy storage and demand management technologies.

The state plans to seek expressions of interest in May or June, and will followup with a request for proposals. The microgrid RFP will seek projects that cover different locations, building types, scale and business models and will capture lessons learned that will be shared.

Victoria hopes to finds ways to lower energy costs for utilities and energy consumers, create new products, services and jobs, and produce more reliable power with reduced emissions to support a low carbon economy.

NREL seeks microgrid controller for Golden, Colorado facility

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is seeking a microgrid controller for its permanent microgrid testbed at the Energy Systems Integration Facility in Golden, Colorado.

Responses are due June 2 to a request for letters of interest (RLOI), a required precursor to participating in an RFP that the federal research lab expects to issue in October.

To be eligible, companies must have at least one commercially-available microgrid controller that they’ve installed in at least one location. Or alternatively, they must be nominated for the competition by a recognized business incubator, investment accelerator firm, utility or other established US company. Domestic and foreign entities can participate.

Applicants are not restricted to any particular controller architecture or application. However, NREL says it will give preference to controllers that:

  • Meet the functionality needs of a research testbed
  • Offer configurability by the user, ideally open source programming provisions
  • Operate in a flexible/open standards/protocols environment where all communication protocols and methods may not be defined at the time of installation and commissioning
  • Accommodate large, complex microgrids that can operate in islanded and grid-tied modes, yet flexible enough to control smaller microgrids in a cyber secure environment.
USTDA funds study for Nigerian microgrids

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency is funding a feasibility study for 25 solar microgrids in Nigeria, which are expected to produce more than 5 MW in total.

The funding went to Nigerian company, Community Social Enterprises, which selected Renewvia Energy, an Atlanta, Ga. company,  to conduct the feasibility study. The project presents opportunities for U.S. businesses to make sales in solar PV modules, batteries, electrical equipment, control systems and meters across Nigeria, according to the USTDA.

The microgrids will use pay-as-you-go mobile payment systems in rural and peri-urban communities that lack reliable electricity. The aim is to provide consistent, reliable power at a lower price than diesel generators.

Track news about microgrid RFP announcements by following Microgrid Knowledge on Twitter @MicrogridNews.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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