Xcel Energy is seeking regulatory approval to move forward with seven microgrids, at a cost to the utility of $23.4 million, chosen from a community resilience solicitation that the Colorado utility issued in May.
Stop & Shop, a major retail chain in the US Northeast, announced today that it will install microgrids in 40 of its grocery stores in Massachusetts and New York. The microgrids will use Bloom Energy fuel cells.
The urban indoor vertical farm industry is at an important juncture. Automation is taking root, long-term contracts with creditworthy retail and food service distributors are in the works and vertical farms are preparing to scale up. Also, the industry is about to get its first trade group, the American Association for Urban and Vertical Farming.
We can move faster installing microgrids, but you need to make some changes. That’s the overarching message from microgrid companies to California regulators as the state faces utility power shutoffs for years to come.
Though it is still in early days, and only hints of what’s to come are yet visible, the evolution to a more distributed system is inevitable. It can be done inefficiently and inequitably, or the state can make sure it’s done expeditiously and fairly, but it is going to happen one way or another.
What California went through last week was absolutely bonkers. To avoid sparking wildfires during particularly dry, windy conditions, Pacific Gas & Electric — PG&E, the state’s largest utility provider — shut off electrical service to some 738,000 people, a deliberate blackout unprecedented in the history of the nation’s electrical system.
Last week the massive power shutoffs enacted by California’s largest electric utility, PG&E, affected millions of people and even lead to the death of a man whose ventilator stopped working. In the aftermath, there’s a lot of anger among PG&E customers and across the state, people are grappling with how to best address wildfire prevention.
Another season of big wildfire risks in California was never an if, always a when. And so here we are again.
When it comes to wildfires the experts are saying, “Abnormal is the new normal.” According to the National Interagency Fire Center, from Jan. 1 to Aug. 16, 2019, there were 30,000 fires and 3,667,237 acres were burned.
The idea that rooftop solar and other distributed resources could avoid the need for new power lines isn’t theory. In its 2017-2018 transmission plan, California’s grid operator cancelled 20 new transmission projects and revised 21 more due to energy efficiency and residential solar power altering load forecasts, with a projected savings of $2.6 billion.