Indiana Tackles Microgrid Cybersecurity & Other News from S&C, CleanSpark…

Nov. 15, 2016
Duke funds microgrid cybersecurity project…NYCHA extends deadline on microgrid RFP…S&C wins New Zealand storage deal…Stratean Changes name to CleanSpark…NARUC releases final Distributed Energy Resources Manual
Duke funds microgrid cybersecurity project

Indiana’s Battery Innovation Center (BIC) is tackling microgrid cybersecurity in an effort supported by Duke Energy and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC).

Duke Energy contributed $500,000 to the BIC to purchase hardware, security protocols, and other control security infrastructure. The utility made the donation as part of a settlement agreement reached with the OUCC and other groups in a dispute over cost over-runs related to a Duke coal gasification plant.

“Microgrids present unique security challenges that need specific tools to guard against threats,” said Rob Caldwell, Duke Energy senior vice president and president of Duke Energy Renewables and Distributed Energy. “The BIC is already well-known as a microgrid test facility. We are pleased to partner with them in this research project.”

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The project will identify microgrid cybersecurity threats and create plans to resist and react.

“Addressing the security needs of the grid and associated infrastructure is critical to the reliability of these assets,” said Ben Wrightsman, BIC chief operations officer. “We are not immune to the same threats that have happened to several power networks around the globe, and it is important we have proper measures in place.”

The microgrid cybersecurity funding comes in addition to an earlier $1 million Duke granted to the BIC for energy storage research.

NYCHA extends deadline for district energy microgrid RFP

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) extended the deadline for its request for proposals (RFP) for a district energy microgrid in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn to October 28 and now plans to announce a winner in early January.

The project, which will serve 28 buildings with 6,300 people on 39 acres, will deliver heat, steam and electricity to part of the Red Hook neighborhood, which was pummeled during SuperStorm Sandy and lost eight steam plants.

Called the Red Hook Houses District Energy System, the project may eventually become part of a community microgrid also planned for Red Hook. That project, the Red Hook Community Microgrid, was one of 83 microgrid projects to win $100,000 through the $40 million NY Prize competition.

The original RFP deadlines were July 22 for Part 1 and September 9 for Part 2. More details about the solicitation are here.

S&C wins storage deal with New Zealand utility

Chicago-based S&C Electric has won a contract with New Zealand utility that is using a grid-scale battery as the core of a supply-side energy management pilot.

Counties Power chose S&C through its local representative PLP Electropar after an extensive evaluation of global suppliers. Expected to go live in mid-2017, the 250-kW/500-kWh battery will enable Counties Power to evaluate benefits such as reduced transmission demand at peak periods and improved power quality.

“As a consumer-owned distribution network, cost-effective, high quality and safe power supply are minimum expectations for our owners,” said Counties Power chief executive Sheridan Broadbent. “The pilot will enable us to trial batteries as a core network element, which could help us to avoid or reduce future capital investment. We will be able to assess benefits for our customers such as supply quality enhancement, provision of ancillary network services and peak shaving.”

Stratean Changes name to CleanSpark to reflect microgrid focus

Stratean is changing its names to CleanSpark, to reflect its commitment to the rapidly emerging microgrid market. CleanSpark is the name of a microgrid company that Strataen recently acquired.

“These important changes reflect the progression and expansion of our strategy to expand our focus from a single technology to the emerging, high-growth microgrid market,” said Matthew Schultz, CleanSpark CEO. “Combining energy management software with our innovative gasification technology is changing the way customers think about procuring microgrid energy systems. By branding under the CleanSpark name, we will be able to harness CleanSpark’s strong name recognition with the uniqueness of our combined, game-changing technologies, putting us in a much stronger go-to-market position.”

CleanSpark offers a ‘stratified’ downdraft gasifier with advanced energy software and control technology that creates a plug-and-play, zero-emissions system.

NARUC releases final Distributed Energy Resources Manual

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) has released the final publication of its manual, “Distributed Energy Resources Rate Design and Compensation.”

Before finalizing the document, NARUC collected comment from more than 70 stakeholders, and it became a focal point for the microgrid community to kick off discussion about how to value a microgrid. (See “Microgrid Resources Coalition Urges Regulators to Value Energy Service, Not Source”)

The Microgrid Resources Coalition (MRC) and International District Energy Association (IDEA) are hosting the 2016 MRC/IDEA Microgrid Summit on December 7, 2016 at the National Press Club, Washington, DC.

Among other things, the manual discusses how distributed energy resources affect existing regulatory and utility models, and offers rate design and compensation options.

A web page for the manual, which includes comments received on the draft manual, is available here.

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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.

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