Quick Microgrid News…How about Wave Energy Microgrids?…Stem’s Big Game Changer

Sept. 4, 2015
We hear a lot about solar and wind microgrids. So now how about wave energy microgrids?

Credit: Malene Thyssen

We hear a lot about solar and wind microgrids. So now how about wave energy microgrids?

Australian company Carnegie Wave Energy today signed an agreement with the Republic of Seychelles to investigate commercial wave and microgrid opportunities in the 115-island country off the coast of South Africa.

Under the memorandum of understanding, Carnegie Wave Energy will pursue opportunities to develop its CETO wave technology on Seychelles with microgrids that integrate the wave farms into the existing power infrastructure. The facilities would supply clean power and freshwater.

“Carnegie has identified remote islands as an attractive early market for the CETO technology,” said Greg Allen, Carnegie’s chief operating officer.

Carnegie’s key target markets also include the United Kingdom and Europe for its CETO wave technology, which converts ocean wave energy into electricity and desalinated water. The system operates under water where it is safer from large storms and invisible from the shore

The wave microgrid “can enable high penetration of renewable energy, displacing imported diesel,” Allen added.

The deal was announced at the inaugural Indian Ocean Rim Association Ministerial Blue Economy Conference in Mauritius. The ‘Blue Economy’ is a new concept that incorporates the ocean economy, environment and sustainability to provide basic human needs.

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Stem again is pushing the boundaries to make room for distributed energy in markets conventionally confined to the large power plant.

This time the California company became the first to bid aggregated energy storage into real-time market administered by the California Independent System Operator

Stem combined its predictive software with technology offered by grid services company Olivine. The combo makes it possible to bid and automatically dispatch stored power into the energy market.

“Wholesale electricity market participation is a new and compelling revenue stream that enables businesses to transform energy from a cost center into a profit center,” said John Carrington, Stem CEO. “The ability to leverage customer-sited storage for multiple applications is the foundation for unlocking the full potential of energy storage for both customers and the grid. Once in place, these capabilities are highly replicable across other markets in the U.S. and around the world.”

The action came under Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) Supply-Side Pilot (SSP), an innovative project that enables customer-sited, demand-side resources to participate in the CAISO wholesale markets as demand response.

Stem’s storage system is in buildings of customers like Adobe’s San Francisco campus, where batteries store energy when costs are low and deploy it when they rise.

By participating in the CAISO market, Adobe is turning its Stem system into a revenue stream. Stem sets its price target and then its predictive software automatically accepts market bids and dispatches available power to the grid.

Stem collected extensive data during successful day-ahead bidding at six customer sites for more than a year to enhance forecasting and refine automation.

“Stem’s successful real-time market award in PG&E’s SSP demonstrates the ability for demand side resources to provide services in both day-ahead and real-time markets,” said Olivine CEO Beth Reid. “This is a big step toward future opportunities for distributed, behind-the-meter resources to provide a variety of grid services and supports achievement of our sustainable energy goals.”

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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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