Energy Storage, Microgrids, Regulation, Utilities, Solar, Wind  -  March 16, 2019

Weekend reads: New opportunity for microgrids; Is U.S. offshore wind about to blow?

It's the weekend! Kick back and relax with these can't-miss energy articles from around the web.

California’s wildfire threat could be an opportunity for clean-energy microgrids (LA Times) To the untrained eye, the shipping containers clustered on the outskirts of Borrego Springs don’t look like an innovative clean-energy technology that could help California cope with wildfires. But these containers, in the remote desert of eastern San Diego County, are packed with lithium-ion batteries — and they’re part of one of the world’s most advanced microgrids. 

How Greater Reliance On Wind And Solar Means Texas’ Power Grid Is Less Nimble During Summer (Texas Standard) With just nine days until the official end of winter, temperatures all across Texas are certainly springlike. Highs are hovering in the 60s and 70s in many cases. But that also means summer is just a few months away, and so are high electricity bills that come along with cranking up the air conditioning. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, warns that consumers will likely demand more power than ever from the grid.

NYPA grid lab studies how to integrate renewables onto transmission grid (Electric Light & Power) The New York Power Authority’s new Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILe) is driving cost reductions and operational benefits right out of the gate. Last month, the lab embarked on its first protection and performance study for the Moses Adirondack Advanced Power Flow Control Project to look for ways NYPA can more effectively leverage upstate wind and hydro generation. 

Why U.S. offshore wind is finally going big (Axios) Power from offshore wind is finally poised for liftoff in the U.S. The U.S. has long been a laggard, but that's poised to change thanks to a convergence of forces that analysts see bringing enough coastal wind online over the next decade to power millions of homes.

New fuel cell could help fix the renewable energy storage problem (Science Magazine) If we want a shot at transitioning to renewable energy, we’ll need one crucial thing: technologies that can convert electricity from wind and sun into a chemical fuel for storage and vice versa. Commercial devices that do this exist, but most are costly and perform only half of the equation. Now, researchers have created lab-scale gadgets that do both jobs. If larger versions work as well, they would help make it possible—or at least more affordable—to run the world on renewables.

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