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News Article | January 19, 2016
Site: http://www.theenergycollective.com/rss/all

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will fund up to $220 million of R&D projects to modernize America’s aging power grid infrastructure over the next three years. Accompanying this, DOE released its ¨Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan¨ (MYPP), a strategic blueprint that informs and guides a national R&D agenda involving a consortium of DOE National Laboratories. The Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) is made up of 14 DOE National Laboratories and dozens of industry, academia, and state and local government agency partners across the country, according to a DOE news release. DOE is providing funding for an initial set of 88 grid modernization projects. While a few focus specifically on microgrids, many, if not all, of them will advance development of power technologies that could be of use to microgrid project developers, utilities and other relevant stakeholders. In addition to the recently established Microgrid System Laboratory, the Grid Modernization Program reflects the potential for a distributed, smarter energy system to meet national energy objectives such as decarbonization, energy independence, and resilience from storms and terrorist attacks. Enhancing the security, reliability and resiliency of U.S. grid infrastructure and reducing carbon emissions are among the main objectives of DOE’s grid modernization plan and the new R&D funding, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz explained. “Modernizing the U.S. electrical grid is essential to reducing carbon emissions, creating safeguards against attacks on our infrastructure, and keeping the lights on,” Secretary Moniz was quoted as saying. ¨This public-private partnership between our National Laboratories, industry, academia, and state and local government agencies will help us further strengthen our ongoing efforts to improve our electrical infrastructure so that it is prepared to respond to the nation’s energy needs for decades to come.” A full list of the Grid Modernization Initiative projects, participating laboratories and partners, as well as additional information is available on DOE’s website. Among them, UPS, Waste Management, Burns McDonnell, Harshaw Trane, LG&E and the State of Kentucky will carry out a 2-year, $1 million ¨Industrial Microgrid Analysis and Design for Energy Security and Resiliency.¨ Also directed specifically at advancing microgrid technology, Alaska state agencies, universities and Intelligent Energy systems have banded together to form the Alaska Microgrid Partnership, which is to develop a programmatic approach and framework that provides the basis for stakeholders to reduce diesel fuel consumption in remote microgrids by at least 50 percent and improve system reliability, security and resiliency without increasing system lifecycle costs. The DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is participating in 44 of the 88 initial grid modernization R&D projects. GMLC co-chair and NREL Associate Laboratory Director Bryan Hannegan highlighted how GMLC illustrates a promising new approach to leveraging the resources of DOE National Labs, academic researchers and private sector power industry participants. “The Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium is a new way of efficiently leveraging the strengths and capabilities of America’s national laboratories to deploy new concepts and technologies that will make the grid cleaner, more productive, and more secure,¨ Hannegan stated. ¨The projects announced today are an important first step towards achieving the DOE vision of a modernized grid for the nation.” DOE has invested more than $4.5 billion in grid modernization and smart grid projects via American Recovery & Reinvestment Act funding. Those investments are paying dividends in communities throughout the nation, reducing electricity costs while at the same time improving efficiency, reliability, resiliency and security, DOE highlights. ¨In Tennessee, for example, as a result of Chattanooga’s Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) project, reliability increased by 45 percent. In Georgia, an electric cooperative deployed advanced metering infrastructure under the SGIG program, and reduced its operational costs by 65 percent. Service is restored faster after weather-related grid outages and emissions have been reduced. In addition, consumers are now able to better manage their own consumption, saving money and electricity.¨ Microgrid Projects Project 8: Industrial Microgrid Analysis and Design for Energy Security and Resiliency Investigation, development, and analysis of the risks, costs, and benefits of a microgrid utilizing renewable energy systems at the UPS WorldPort and Centennial Hub facilities. Develop a roadmap to help industries evaluate microgrid adoption by defining institutional and regulatory challenges associated with development of industrial-based resilient systems. Deliver to stakeholders an integrated distributed resource planning and optimization platform, hosted online, able to identify meaningful behind-the-meter DER adoption patterns, potential microgrid sites and demand-side resources, and evaluate the impacts of high renewable penetration feeders on the distribution and transmission grid. Partners: ANL, BNL, LBNL, LLNL, NREL, SLAC, California PUC, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Ediso (SCE), Metropolitan Council of Governments, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Improve physical security of the Idaho Falls distribution system by testing smart reconfiguration, intelligent DR utilizing loads as a resource, controlled islanding, black start procedures for emergency service, and resynchronization in the presence of DERs. Develop a design basis framework and programmatic approach to assist stakeholders in their efforts to reduce diesel fuel consumption by at least 50% in Alaska’s remote microgrids without increasing system lifecycle costs, while improving overall system reliability, security, and resilience. Three campuses (PNNL, UW and WSU) will develop and test a range of tranactive control activities on each of the 3 campuses.  They will also develop the ability to coordinate across these three campuses to provide coordinated services to the PNW power system and their serving distribution utilities based upon the transactive response of key loads on the campuses.  The UW will emphasize energy storage and coordination for peak management and provision of flexibility.  The WSU campus will leverage its microgrid and major campus loads and thermal storage to deliver transactive response.  And PNNL will advance controls in its new SEB grid building and other campus loads to help the City of Richland better manage it’s demand limits.  OE and BTO collaborated in the design and cost share of the project. The post DOE Announces Grid Modernization R&D Projects, Partners, and Funding appeared first on Microgrid Media.


News Article
Site: http://news.yahoo.com/energy/

New York governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during the National Action Network (NAN) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Public Policy Forum in the Harlem section of New York January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid More (Reuters) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced the approval of a 10-year, $5 billion Clean Energy Fund to invest in reducing emissions and promoting the use of renewable energy in the state. The state's Public Service Commission approved the fund after Cuomo officially requested renewable power mandates for the state the previous week, according to a statement from the Governor's office. The $5 billion from the state will draw more than $29 billion in additional funding from private investors, said Cuomo in the statement. The fund, managed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, will be used to encourage projects targeting greenhouse gas reductions and providing cost-efficient renewable energy and is projected to generate $39 billion in consumer savings over the next decade. The initiative comes as a part of Cuomo's plan to meet half the state's electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030.


News Article | January 19, 2016
Site: http://www.theenergycollective.com/rss/all

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will fund up to $220 million of R&D projects to modernize America’s aging power grid infrastructure over the next three years. Accompanying this, DOE released its ¨Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan¨ (MYPP), a strategic blueprint that informs and guides a national R&D agenda involving a consortium of DOE National Laboratories. The Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) is made up of 14 DOE National Laboratories and dozens of industry, academia, and state and local government agency partners across the country, according to a DOE news release. DOE is providing funding for an initial set of 88 grid modernization projects. While a few focus specifically on microgrids, many, if not all, of them will advance development of power technologies that could be of use to microgrid project developers, utilities and other relevant stakeholders. In addition to the recently established Microgrid System Laboratory, the Grid Modernization Program reflects the potential for a distributed, smarter energy system to meet national energy objectives such as decarbonization, energy independence, and resilience from storms and terrorist attacks. Enhancing the security, reliability and resiliency of U.S. grid infrastructure and reducing carbon emissions are among the main objectives of DOE’s grid modernization plan and the new R&D funding, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz explained. “Modernizing the U.S. electrical grid is essential to reducing carbon emissions, creating safeguards against attacks on our infrastructure, and keeping the lights on,” Secretary Moniz was quoted as saying. ¨This public-private partnership between our National Laboratories, industry, academia, and state and local government agencies will help us further strengthen our ongoing efforts to improve our electrical infrastructure so that it is prepared to respond to the nation’s energy needs for decades to come.” A full list of the Grid Modernization Initiative projects, participating laboratories and partners, as well as additional information is available on DOE’s website. Among them, UPS, Waste Management, Burns McDonnell, Harshaw Trane, LG&E and the State of Kentucky will carry out a 2-year, $1 million ¨Industrial Microgrid Analysis and Design for Energy Security and Resiliency.¨ Also directed specifically at advancing microgrid technology, Alaska state agencies, universities and Intelligent Energy systems have banded together to form the Alaska Microgrid Partnership, which is to develop a programmatic approach and framework that provides the basis for stakeholders to reduce diesel fuel consumption in remote microgrids by at least 50 percent and improve system reliability, security and resiliency without increasing system lifecycle costs. The DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is participating in 44 of the 88 initial grid modernization R&D projects. GMLC co-chair and NREL Associate Laboratory Director Bryan Hannegan highlighted how GMLC illustrates a promising new approach to leveraging the resources of DOE National Labs, academic researchers and private sector power industry participants. “The Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium is a new way of efficiently leveraging the strengths and capabilities of America’s national laboratories to deploy new concepts and technologies that will make the grid cleaner, more productive, and more secure,¨ Hannegan stated. ¨The projects announced today are an important first step towards achieving the DOE vision of a modernized grid for the nation.” DOE has invested more than $4.5 billion in grid modernization and smart grid projects via American Recovery & Reinvestment Act funding. Those investments are paying dividends in communities throughout the nation, reducing electricity costs while at the same time improving efficiency, reliability, resiliency and security, DOE highlights. ¨In Tennessee, for example, as a result of Chattanooga’s Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) project, reliability increased by 45 percent. In Georgia, an electric cooperative deployed advanced metering infrastructure under the SGIG program, and reduced its operational costs by 65 percent. Service is restored faster after weather-related grid outages and emissions have been reduced. In addition, consumers are now able to better manage their own consumption, saving money and electricity.¨ Microgrid Projects Project 8: Industrial Microgrid Analysis and Design for Energy Security and Resiliency Investigation, development, and analysis of the risks, costs, and benefits of a microgrid utilizing renewable energy systems at the UPS WorldPort and Centennial Hub facilities. Develop a roadmap to help industries evaluate microgrid adoption by defining institutional and regulatory challenges associated with development of industrial-based resilient systems. Deliver to stakeholders an integrated distributed resource planning and optimization platform, hosted online, able to identify meaningful behind-the-meter DER adoption patterns, potential microgrid sites and demand-side resources, and evaluate the impacts of high renewable penetration feeders on the distribution and transmission grid. Partners: ANL, BNL, LBNL, LLNL, NREL, SLAC, California PUC, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Ediso (SCE), Metropolitan Council of Governments, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Improve physical security of the Idaho Falls distribution system by testing smart reconfiguration, intelligent DR utilizing loads as a resource, controlled islanding, black start procedures for emergency service, and resynchronization in the presence of DERs. Develop a design basis framework and programmatic approach to assist stakeholders in their efforts to reduce diesel fuel consumption by at least 50% in Alaska’s remote microgrids without increasing system lifecycle costs, while improving overall system reliability, security, and resilience. Three campuses (PNNL, UW and WSU) will develop and test a range of tranactive control activities on each of the 3 campuses.  They will also develop the ability to coordinate across these three campuses to provide coordinated services to the PNW power system and their serving distribution utilities based upon the transactive response of key loads on the campuses.  The UW will emphasize energy storage and coordination for peak management and provision of flexibility.  The WSU campus will leverage its microgrid and major campus loads and thermal storage to deliver transactive response.  And PNNL will advance controls in its new SEB grid building and other campus loads to help the City of Richland better manage it’s demand limits.  OE and BTO collaborated in the design and cost share of the project. The post DOE Announces Grid Modernization R&D Projects, Partners, and Funding appeared first on Microgrid Media.


News Article | August 29, 2016
Site: http://cleantechnica.com

Ask New Yorkers what they remember about Hurricane Sandy, and they’ll say the blackout. Floods cut power to most of Lower Manhattan, plunging America’s financial and cultural epicenter into total darkness. New York University continued to buzz and glow throughout the night. The reason? NYU runs on a microgrid, a semi-independent energy system able to generate and store its own power. When the storm hit, NYU kept humming along. Cut off from a central utility, it continued to produce its own electricity. “If you take a look at the blackouts that were in the New Jersey, New York, Connecticut realm of Superstorm Sandy, the only places that were up and operating were those places that had a microgrid,” said Steve Pullins, Vice President at Hitachi Microgrid Solutions. In an effort to build more resilient power systems and provide more low-carbon energy, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is awarding $40 million for the design and construction of microgrids across the state. Microgrids can help communities keep the lights on during the next Sandy, all while providing cheaper and cleaner power than the local utility. Think of a microgrid as an energy island. It connects homes and businesses with local power generation and battery storage. It can be as small as a strip mall or as large as a Division I university. It acts as single entity able to connect and disconnect from the central grid. A microgrid is made up of several interlocking parts. In the morning, wind and solar ramp up as the sun breaks and winds start to blow. By midday, power from renewables surpasses demand. Home batteries and electric cars soak up the surplus energy. As the sun falls and wind dies down in the late afternoon, batteries discharge stored electricity to meet energy needs. All the while, the combined heat and power plant and the central grid provide a baseline level of energy. Ideally, consumers use energy-efficient appliances — LED light bulbs, power-thrifty dishwashers, etc. — that curb demand and keep the whole system running smoothly. The result looks something like this. Microgrids provide cheaper, cleaner energy. Microgrids can provide cleaner energy than the central grid. Rather than rely on a coal-fired power plant 100 miles away, users draw energy from solar panels on their roof and batteries in their basement. Microgrids can also save consumers money. Wind and solar incur no fuel costs. A combined heat and power plant relies on natural gas, but it runs more efficiently and cheaply than a utility-scale gas-fired power plant, providing more energy — in the form of electricity and heat — per liter of gas burned. So, why not disconnect from the central grid entirely? It is easier and more cost-effective to manage a microgrid when it is linked to an external source of power. “If we’re producing about 80 to 86 percent of the required load from the customer, and we’re doing that with onsite resources, that’s the most economic point of operation,” said Pullins. “We’re a net user from the grid, so therefore the interconnection agreements that you do with utilities are simpler… And it also gives you a little bit of buffer, using the grid basically as a battery.” Granted, under this arrangement, utilities have every reason to oppose microgrids. Decentralized power generation threatens their core business —  producing and selling electricity. As part of its push for clean energy, New York reworking incentives to get utilities to support microgrids. There are about to be a lot more microgrids in New York. New York state is reforming its energy system so that utilities have a stake in renewable power. The New York Public Service Commission just approved a plan that incentivizes utilities to work with developers to set up microgrids. Under the new structure, utilities stand to earn money by the making systems more efficient and resilient. Speaking at a conference in Manhattan last month, New York Energy Czar Richard Kauffman said, “The good news is that there are going to be a lot more microgrids.” The shift is already underway. Hudson Yards, a behemoth real state development on the west side of Manhattan, officially opened last week. The neighborhood is powered an onsite microgrid. Its core components live 40 feet above sea level, providing reliable power out of reach of from potential floods. The developer lists the microgrid among the neighborhood’s many perks. Is that what the future of power generation looks like? Maybe. According to Kauffman, “The current system is not only energy inefficient; it is financially inefficient. If we can do things better, we have the opportunity to add many more microgrids.”   Drive an electric car? Complete one of our short surveys for our next electric car report.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  


News Article
Site: http://www.treehugger.com/feeds/category/energy/

When I moved to the US in 2006, offshore wind energy was in its infancy back in the UK. Since I left my home country, however, gigawatts and gigawatts of offshore wind capacity have been added. Meanwhile, in the US, we're still waiting for our first serious offshore wind farm to be completed. That may be about to change. Already we have one 30MW offshore wind farm being constructed off the coast of Rhode Island, and now Cleantechnica reports that both New York state and Massachusetts are making serious policy moves to support offshore wind. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), for example, has just announced that it will be taking part in the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) commercial offshore wind energy lease auction which could see up to 81,000 acres opened up for offshore wind development off the coast of Long Island. Meanwhile, Massachusetts House and Senate both passed legislation to begin soliciting contracts for offshore wind energy as soon as 2027, with the potential for 2GW of capacity to be added. Encouragingly, the move comes at a time when European offshore wind energy operations are smashing cost reduction records. I suspect this could be the start of something big!

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