Planning Begins on California Microgrid Road Map

May 24, 2016
State policymakers will begin work this week on a California microgrid road map, an effort to remove barriers to wide-spread commercialization of microgrids.

State policymakers will begin work this week on a California microgrid road map, an effort to remove barriers to microgrid development.

The California Energy Commission will hold a workshop May 24 at 1:30 p.m. (Pacific time) with the Public Utilities Commission and the California Independent System Operator. The session is geared toward utilities, microgrid owners, developers, manufacturers and other stakeholders.

The commission has created similar road maps for energy storage and vehicle-to-grid integration.

The idea for the California microgrid road map sprang from a report, “Microgrid Assessments and Recommendations to Guide Future Investment,” issued by the commission last year, and prepared by DNV GL.

Based on a survey of 119 stakeholders, DNV GL found ten main barriers to microgrid development in California, with policy and regulation as the top hindrances.

Top Ten Barriers to Microgrid Commercialization
The study’s key recommendations were:
  • Identify the location on the distribution or transmission systems where microgrids may have the maximum benefit to ratepayers and to the grid.
  • Improve interoperability standards and operational guidelines for microgrids.
  • Improve dissemination of information on microgrids to help electric systems operators, planners, and the public understand the values (tangible and intangible) that microgrids provide.
  • Develop policy, markets, or other means to capture and quantify values provided by microgrids, such as improved reliability, islanding capability, lower emission production, and reducing electrical losses.

California is pursuing expansion of microgrid grids to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support reliability and resiliency, and facilitate higher levels of distributed generation

The commission is accepting comments on Calfornia’s microgrid road map plan until 4 p.m. PT, May 25, sent to [email protected].

Details to access Tuesday’s commission meeting are here.

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, 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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