Quick Microgrid News: Milbank…Opportunity in Japan…DOE Research RFP…Landis+Gyr

May 21, 2015
The latest microgrid news about Milbank, Microgrids in Japan, a DOE RFP for microgrid researchers, and movement on the Philadelphia Navy Yard energy project.

Photo”Kansas City Montage” by Charvex

In this week’s microgrid news…

Milbank has been selected as the presenting sponsor of the 2016 National Conference on Microgrids to be held in Kansas City, Mo., April 13‐16, 2016.

Milbank began its research and development efforts in the microgrid arena in 2011, and has developed an energy management platform called SynapSuite.

The platform has been used at several high‐profile beta sites including the Mid‐West Energy Research Consortium  and the National Association of Home Builder’s New American Home. More recently, the system was selected to manage Solar Village, a microgrid demonstration at the Missouri University of Science & Technology in Rolla, Mo.

“Microgrids are made possible by the integration of a highly sophisticated controller that serves as the conductor of the electrical symphony of generation, consumption, and storage solutions. Microgrid controllers convert seemingly random energy movement into an amazing harmony of electricity flow that is both reliable and economical,” said Lavon Winkler, Milbank president and CEO.  “With distributed energy generation and storage becoming an increasingly important consideration in addressing the world’s energy needs, the full capabilities of these technologies will only be realized through the sophisticated management of electricity flow—both generation and consumption — via a microgrid.”

The Japan Smart Community Alliance (JSCA) and Zpryme are conducting a study to identify opportunities for alliance members and U.S. power companies to partner on microgrid and smart communities projects.

The study is expected to lead to collaboration and exchange of best practices. The research will focus on innovative projects in the U.S., market needs, and opportunities for collaboration on advanced technologies that address the U.S.’s most urgent infrastructure challenges.

Zpryme will travel to Tokyo to present findings in July and September 2015. A summary of the final findings will be released in Fall 2015.

JSCA is a public-private organization supported by Japan’s Ministry of Trade, Economy and Industry and New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization.

Separately, the Japan International Cooperation Agency has reported installation of the first microgrid system in Oceania, a JICA project on Tongatapu, the largest island in the Tongan archipelago.

This microgrid includes solar, existing diesel and a lithium-ion capacitor. The system allows Tongatapu to reduce summer peak use by 30 percent and cut fuel costs for the diesel generator, according to JICA.

Imported diesel makes the island electricity bills 2.5 to 3 times higher than in Japan.

The microgrid acts as a controller to ensure a stable supply of power when the solar energy system experiences a sudden change in output, JICA said. A diesel generator makes up for the shortfall. The government hopes to eventually meet half of Tonga’s electric demand with solar.

The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a research call to national laboratories for a design decision analysis tool for remote AC and DC microgrids. The tool is for microgrids that use a mix of generation and have load profiles typical of remote communities.

The DOE plans to provide about $1.5 million for Phase I of the selected projects, and an additional $1 million for a single Phase 2 project.

Applications are due by June 30, 2015. More information is available here: RC-ROMDST-2015.

Landis+Gyr has won a competitive bid to lay the foundation for a modern and comprehensive energy infrastructure at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia, a commercial site where a large community microgrid is being planned.

PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation and master developer of the Navy Yard, selected Landis+Gyr.

This project will start with the deployment of advanced metering infrastructure, including both smart meters and Landis+Gyr’s Gridstream communications network, meter data management software and associated cloud based services.  The result will be an open platform for follow-on efforts: smart building technology, energy storage systems, wind and solar, distribution automation capability and electric vehicle support.

The Navy Yard is home to 11,500 employees and 145 companies.

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About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is the editor and founder of EnergyChangemakers.com. She is co-founder and former editor of Microgrid Knowledge.

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