What’s Got People Thinking about Microgrids this Week?

March 16, 2017
The idea of microgrids looked pretty good on the U.S. East Coast this week…Washington, DC to become first U.S. city with a Green Bank…Missouri EcoVillage microgrid to use lead batteries
The idea of microgrids looked pretty good on the East Coast this week

Microgrids were probably on the minds of more than a few people this week when a blizzardy storm named Stella knocked out power to more than 440,000 electric customers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Outages occurred March 13-15 from Virginia to Nova Scotia.

Dominion Virginia Power was the hardest hit utility with 98,600 outages over the course of the storm, according to statistics released by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The DOE was reporting that restoration efforts continued late Wednesday with 54,082 utility customers still in the dark.

Microgrids are able to provide power during grid outages because they can island themselves from the central grid and employ local generators to serve customers. Microgrids often use combined heat and power, solar, energy storage and other forms of distributed energy located close to the customers that the microgrid serves.

The chart below from the DOE  shows remaining outages as of late Wednesday.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Stella knocked out power to 440,000. Thinking #microgrid?” quote=”Stella knocked out power to 440,000. Thinking microgrid?”]
Washington, DC to have first Green Bank among U.S. cities

Washington, D.C. has become a city to watch when it comes to microgrids, distributed energy resources and other smart grid innovations. And this week Mayor Muriel Bowser laid out the plan to help finance its energy revolution.

Washington intends to become the first U.S. city — and the second in the world — to establish a Green Bank to expand renewable energy, lower energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create green jobs.

“As the nation’s capital, we need to lead the way when it comes to protecting and preserving the environment,” Bowser said.“By creating a Green Bank, we will create more jobs for DC residents, which will allow us to continue our push for inclusive prosperity, and we will take an important step toward reaching the sustainability goals set forth in Climate Ready DC.”

Green Banks are public/private financing partnerships that offer loans, leases, credit enhancements, and other forms of financing.

Find more information about Climate Ready DC, the DC Government’s climate adaptation plan, at doee.dc.gov/climateready.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Washington, D.C. wants to be first U.S. city with a Green Bank” quote=”Washington, D.C. wants to be first U.S. city with a Green Bank”]

Missouri EcoVillage microgrid to use lead batteries

Most microgrids use lithium batteries for energy storage. But the EcoVillage microgrid, being developed at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T), intends to give lead batteries a try.

The microgrid is being built by an industry consortium at the university campus in Rolla, Missouri. The consortium chose lead batteries for the EcoVillage because of their performance, reliability, cost and end of life recycling, according to a news release by the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC)

“Our consortium was created to advance the knowledge and use of microgrids through industry/academic partnerships,” said Angie Rolufs, of the S&T Microgrid Industrial Consortium.”The planned partnership with ALABC aligns perfectly with our consortium vision. The project also provides the opportunity to tell a good news story from a Missouri economic development point of view, since lead is a Missouri natural resource.”

[clickToTweet tweet=”Missouri EcoVillage #microgrid to use lead batteries” quote=”Missouri EcoVillage microgrid to use lead batteries”]

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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 RealEnergyWriters.com, 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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