It's been a long week. Next week probably won't be much better. Creativity is in short supply. Therefore, prepare to be wowed by a recitation my open window collection of interesting news links so I can close them and start fresh:
Microgrids and distributed generation -- articles on this topic are multiplying like bunnies. Why do you suppose that is? It's because IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN, no matter how much the traditional utilities and transmission speculators stomp their feet and bang their thick heads on the floor.
EBay, Ellison Embrace Microgrids in Threat to Utilities
Don't let the crappy headline fool you. This is a great article about microgrids.
Recent power failures that have affected millions of customers help fuel demand for microgrids. Hurricane Sandy knocked out electricity for 8.5 million customers, showing just how vulnerable utility infrastructure is to storms. Sandy proved a powerful endorsement of microgrids. While millions languished in the dark, microgrids at the FDA’s research center and Co-Op City, a 45,000-resident housing cooperative in Bronx, New York, kept the power flowing by disconnecting from the stricken grid and running in what’s called “island mode.”
“It’s a hard pill to swallow,” said Pullins, likening utility resistance to microgrids to that of U.S. car companies in the 1970s when the federal government first imposed mileage standards. “When those rules came out, Toyota went out and hired 1,000 engineers to figure out how to meet them. GM went out and hired 1,000 lobbyists to figure out how to beat them. There is some of that going on. With a few exceptions, the utility industry hasn’t embraced microgrids.”
Maryland Governor O'Malley and FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff Celebrate the Completion of the State's First Commercial Solar Microgrid
The 402 kW solar microgrid system, a grid-interactive energy storage system co-located with a new 1,368 panel photovoltaic (PV) canopy array, is also recognized as one of the first commercial solar microgrids in the nation.
In the event of a conventional power grid outage, the innovative solar PV array will stay online through the power of an advanced energy storage system. If grid power grid goes down, the system batteries will keep a critical load of 50 kW online for just over four hours at night and recharge the next day.
"Successfully pairing reliable emissions-free solar power with energy storage provides a range of additional new benefits: emergency back up during power outages, grid stability, and peak demand reduction. Simply put, PV plus storage is ushering in the grid of the future."
Rethinking 'Grid' Resilience: Are We Gold Plating The Electric Grid?
What's the difference between resilience and reliability? Really? What kind of money-making scam are the utilities pulling this time?
“When reliability managers . . . meet [reliability challenges] through an exclusive, central-station-focused, wires and turbines policy, they may fix each ‘weakest link’ in the supply chain as it appears. But once one upgrade is completed, the next weakest link will then emerge,” Rich Sedano, a principal at the Regulatory Assistance Project, wrote more than a decade ago.
Distributed energy resources can enhance the reliability of the power grid from the local distribution network to power plants by lightening the load supported by the power grid.
In other words, energy resilience begins where the electric power grid ends.
“A narrow focus on fixing today’s weakest links in the supply chain will ultimately be less resilient and more expensive than a strategy that identifies reliability-enhancing distributed investments,” said Sedano.
Hackers in the electric grid? Meh—fear the dude with the stolen tractor
Not-so-surprising look at just how vulnerable our centralized grid really is. Why are we building MORE of it?
And... just because it includes pictures of the evil Nicholas-Rickolas twins... I'll leave you with this delightful romp around AEP's CEO's head. How can so many words say so very little?
Q&A With Nick Akins
Have you had any mentors who shaped your career?
Certainly Mike Moore the previous CEO had a lot to do with my career...