Microgrid Roadmap Building Continues in California…ViZa to Bring Microgrids to Africa with Jabil Inala

Aug. 30, 2016
California continues its microgrid roadmap effort with a workshop September 6…In Africa, ViZn works with Jabil Inala to reduce energy poverty

The California Energy Commission plans to hold its next microgrid roadmap workshop 10 a.m. PT, September 6 at the Secretary of State Building in Sacramento.

The state launched the series of workshops in May to set priorities for microgrid policy and help the industry standardize, commercialize and drive down costs for consumers.

The CEC is collaborating with the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Independent System Operator on the microgrid roadmap.

The September 6 session will include a presentation on active or planned microgrids in California by those managing or overseeing them.

The workshop also will focus on customers’ microgrid implementation strategies and challenges with a focus on energy resiliency, renewable integration, costs/benefits performance, lessons learned, how cyber-security is being addressed and efforts to commercialize microgrids in California.

In addition, there will be a panel discussion about the value of microgrids.

The event is free and no pre-registration is required. Those who want to listen remotely may do so by telephone or computer. More information is here. Read our story on the kick off of California’s microgrid roadmap project here.

ViZa partners with Jabil Inala to offer microgrids in Africa

Texas-based ViZn Energy Systems (ViZn), which provides zinc and iron chemistry-based flow batteries for microgrids and utilities, is partnering with Jabil Inala to offer turnkey energy storage in Africa.

The partnership plans to tap into Africa’s vast demand for power. With 13 percent of the world’s population, Africa accounts for only four percent of the world’s energy demand, leaving a gap of around 600 million people with no access to electricity, say the companies.

The companies will focus on mining, agriculture and remote villages in Africa.

“Africa represents an enormous market both in terms of the potential growth for supplying power and the ability to positively impact the lives of millions of people,” said Ron Van Dell, CEO of ViZn Energy. “Since much of the centralized distribution infrastructure does not exist across the continent, it is ripe for the establishment of distributed microgrids to power villages that currently don’t have electricity and also to replace diesel generators at remote mining and agricultural facilities. The non-toxic chemistry used in ViZn’s flow batteries means they can be safely deployed in these areas and without an HVAC system.”

Jabil – the world’s third largest manufacturing services provider – entered the African market in January when it acquired South African energy solutions provider and systems integrator Inala.

Acting as an engineering, procurement and construction company, Jabil Inal operates in 11 sub-Saharan countries where the grid is either unreliable or uneconomical to develop. Jabil Inala offers distributed energy solutions that include generation, storage, efficiency, monitoring, and analytics.

“In the African market, it is critical for a microgrid to have the ability to operate in harsh environments while maintaining industrial power quality,” said Howard Earley, managing director at Jabil Inala. “ViZn’s 20-year expected operational lifetime and ability to perform both high power and long duration applications delivers very attractive economics in these demanding applications.”

ViZn describes its flow battery technology as utilizing a non-toxic, low cost zinc and iron chemistry that aids steady and safe operation. ViZn says it is building the largest flow battery in North America and is on track to be the largest global producer of flow batteries by the end of the year.

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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.

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