Quick Microgrid News…International Alliance Plans NA Microgrids…District Energy Expanding…User-friendly Rural Microgrids

July 16, 2015
Quick Microgrid News…International alliance plans North American microgrids…District energy numbers expanding…User-friendly rural microgrids

In this week’s Quick Microgrid News…

Ontario utility PowerStream and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) have signed an agreement to develop demonstration microgrids and smart grid projects in Canada and market and sell the technology in North America.

The two companies plan to build the projects over  over the next three to five years. The specific projects are:

  • Design and build an electricity market and service model for the distribution management system (DMS) and microgrid service sector.
  • Implement and demonstrate a full-scale smart DMS as a replacement technology for conventional supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system technology.
  • Develop the strategy and plan for the marketing and sales of smart DMS and distribution level microgrid operation systems in the North American market.

The new agreement follows an MOU signed by the two companies in September 2014, outlining plans to work together.

PowerStream has already built a microgrid demonstration at its head office, while KEPCO has committed to invest over $7 billion (US) in its smart grid business by 2030 to make electricity distribution more efficient and decrease South Korea’s greenhouse gas emissions.


New data from the International District Energy Association (IDEAshows continued growth in district energy systems.

District Energy Space, an annual report from IDEA, found an additional 169 customer buildings in North America totaling 44,746,126 square feet (sq ft) of served building space to district energy service. The running total for newly-served building space for North America since 1990 is 660,174,454 sq ft. An additional 2,651 buildings and 75,459,748 sq ft were reported added to district cooling systems for 2014.

The running total for served building space beyond North America added since 2004 is 1,218,325,278 sq ft.

IDEA polled its member district energy systems to report the number of buildings and their area in square feet that have been committed or connected to district energy service during the previous calendar year. IDEA compiles this information as well as the thermal energy services provided (heating, cooling, domestic hot water, laundry, ice-making, process heat, etc.) in its annual publication.

More details are here.


CyboEnergy has been awarded U.S. patent  for its “Smart and Scalable Off-Grid Mini-Inverters, a technology that it says will help in the construction of more cost-effective and user-friendly microgrids, especially in rural areas.

“In these areas, batteries are usually not available; therefore, traditional power inverters that require batteries to operate are not useful. Our off-grid CyboInverters can take DC power from solar directly, with or without batteries, so microgrids built on our IP are flexible for all parts of this large market,” said  CyboEnergy CEO George Cheng.

An off-grid CyboInverter has 4 input channels, where Channel 1 and 2 can connect to 2 solar panels and Channel 3 and 4 can connect to a 36V battery set.  Its AC output can power lights, fans, TV, PC, battery chargers, and refrigerators. The CyboCharger takes power from the same off-grid AC circuit as a load and charges the battery during the day, while also providing power to the microgrid.  When there is sufficient sunlight, CyboInverter will pull power from the solar panels and leave the batteries idle, extending battery life.

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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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