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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.


Category: Microgrids


Unlikely Bedfellows: Unlocking Wind Microgrids with Fossil Fuels

North American Clean Energy, Sep./Oct. 2015, by Marc Hoffman.

"With advancements in the renewable microgrid platform, there’s good news on the horizon: two unlikely bedfellows—wind and fossil fuels—can make beautiful music together after all."

Microgrids: Self-Sufficient Energy Islands

Public Power, Sep./Oct. 2015, by Ethan Howland.

"Microgrids, small energy systems that can run independently of the main grid, can turn communities into self-sufficient energy islands. The technology may have been made popular by a devastating storm, but public power utilities have been creating electricity islands since before it was cool. Microgrids are positioned to grow quickly, with public power utilities leading the way, thanks to their unique position in their communities."

The Future of Microgrid Markets

Business Energy, Jul/Aug 2015, by Lyn Corum.{}

"The why, where, and how of growth in distributed energy resources."

Community Microgrids: A Guide for Mayors and City Leaders Seeking Clean, Reliable and Locally Controlled Energy

Energy Efficiency Markets, June 2015.

Report "provides big-picture insight into the community microgrid trend, as well as specific advice to help municipalities that are considering microgrid development."

Implementing Microgrids: Controlling Campus, Community Power Generation

Pure Power (supplement to Consulting-Specifying Engineer), Summer 2015, by Paul Barter and Edward T. Borer.

"Microgrids are subsets of the regional electrical grid that have the ability to operate independent, or “island,” from the local utility. Microgrids normally operate in parallel with the utility, but they can operate in an isolated mode when utility service is interrupted or providing poor power quality. The design and operation of microgrids are optimized around the needs of the specific end users they serve."

Guest Commentary: Microgrids: An Integrated Power Solution for Business

Business Energy, May 2015, by Michael J. Zimmer.{}

"North America continues to be a hotbed for microgrid development. Green Energy Corp., a US builder of commercial-scale microgrids, recently estimated that 24,000 US commercial and industrial sites could be developed with large-scale microgrid conversions."

Your Own Energy “Island”? ORNL Microgrid Could Standardize Small, Self-Sustaining Electric Grids

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oct. 2014, by Katie Jones.

"Microgrids are designed to not only continue power to local units such as neighborhoods, hospitals or industrial parks but also improve energy efficiency and reduce cost when connected to the main grid. Researchers predict an energy future more like a marketplace in which utility customers with access to solar panels, battery packs, plug-in vehicles and other sources of distributed energy can compare energy prices, switch on the best deals and even sell back unused power to utility companies. However, before interested consumers can plug into their own energy islands, researchers at facilities such as ORNL’s Distributed Energy Control and Communication (DECC) lab need to develop tools for controlling a reliable, safe and efficient microgrid."

Symphony of the Microgrid at an Urban University

BioCycle, July 2014, by Marsha W. Johnston.

"The University of California San Diego’s microgrid produces 92 percent of its annual electricity load and 95 percent of its heating and cooling load. A fuel cell powered by directed biogas is a cornerstone of the operation."

[WSU] Students Take Top Prizes at World Power, Energy Conference

WSU [Washington State University] News, Apr. 30, 2014, by Tina Hilding.

"At the world’s largest power and energy exposition and conference [2014 Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) conference] recently, students from Washington State University won three of the top six poster awards."

Award winners:

Brad Tuffley and Douglas Rapier, who won the undergraduate student poster competition with their design for an open source phasor measurement unit [PMU].

Saugata S. Biswas, who won the top graduate student award for developing an online monitoring system for circuit breakers installed at power substations.

Sayonsom Chanda, who received a second place award for developing a tool for better modeling of campus microgrids.

Planning for District Energy, CHP and Microgrids: A Checklist for Campus Administrators

District Energy, First Quarter 2014.

"Owners and operators of multibuilding campuses face significant pressure to reduce operating and capital costs, maintain reliable services and become better stewards of the environment. To meet these challenges, an increasing number of campuses are turning to district energy, combined heat and power and/or microgrids. Effective planning ... will enhance the likelihood that savings associated with the power usage and climate control needs of individual buildings will be realized and that the central plant and distribution system can be ideally located."


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