Distributed Generation

  • Jan 03, 2013 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    Distributed energy—energy located with the end user and not stretched across a transmission network of wires and substations—will continue to follow the trend set by an intelligent grid: As the grid expands its smarts, distributed energy expands it’s reach. Is your infrastructure prepared?

  • Global survey reflects interest in storage, generation and islanding

    Dec 23, 2012 | Phil Carson

    An IEEE survey of global utility executives finds that energy storage, distributed generation and microgrids will drive energy markets over the next five years. It's not your father's utility anymore.

  • Achieving energy goals: a practical process

    Dec 12, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Boulder's city council is delving into every aspect of "going muni" to make a sound decision on the matter, while keeping every avenue open, including future cooperation with currently divorced partner, Xcel Energy. The careful approach could have historic consequences for communities and investor-owned utilities.

  • New `report' espouses mainstream ideas, but in odd company

    Dec 03, 2012 | Phil Carson

    A new paper that argues against stimulus funding for smart meters and calls for reforms that allow communities to pursue municipalization is "a day late and a dollar short." Especially as it links arms with an anti-meter effort undercut by minimal (and shrinking) opt-out rates. Good ideas, late to the party, odd company.

  • Austin Energy veteran looks ahead to new paradigm

    Nov 27, 2012 | Phil Carson

    John Cooper, co-author of The Advanced Smart Grid, updates his views on grid modernization and the trend away from centralized power towards "the edge." Is Cooper onto something or is he blowing smoke?  

  • Solid state transformers coming, but standards guide current work

    Nov 11, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Smart transformers are coming, but until then current technology and standards can handle the bi-directional flow of power between utilities and industrial customers with cogeneration or renewable, distributed energy resources.

  • 'Smarts' overrated, some say; others envision symbiosis

    Nov 08, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Discussions about grid hardening and resiliency have gone in every direction: smarts should give way to traditional measures such as aggressive vegetation management, smart meters did play a role in post-Sandy restoration and end-users should play new roles if they expect to survive more extreme weather events. We discuss these ideas with our readers.

  • New commercial venture generating interest

    Oct 04, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Vehicle-to-grid technology and its business case have advanced to commercialization and, despite persistent skepticism, San Diego Gas & Electric and the PJM Interconnection are actively examining both. We bring you the conclusion of a two-part article, with links to more.

  • American grid expert weighs in

    Aug 01, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Erich Gunther, recognized grid authority, received some data on frequency variations on India's grid that is implicated in the historic blackout this week. He shares thoughts on immediate steps the developing nation can take to address a load-generation imbalance. 

  • Decentralization could be beneficiary

    Jul 31, 2012 | Phil Carson

    A blackout in India cuts power to 700 million people. When the causes are found, will the answer be decentralization, privatization and automation? And who will profit? Our correspondent cites reports on the event and muses on outcomes.

  • Needed: applications, alternatives, regulations, markets

    Jul 25, 2012 | Phil Carson

    California regulators' struggle to respond to legislation mandating energy storage has led them to adopt a framework for analysis that will address applications, alternatives, cost effectiveness and the regulatory and market frameworks that must include storage if it is found to have useful, cost-effective applications. It ain't easy and it ain't simple.

  • E-Energy pilot projects a research priority

    E-Energy in Germany
    Jul 05, 2012 | Kate Rowland

    In the course of basic energy reform, Germany is vastly changing the structure of its supply system in the coming decades. A recent report details the interim results of Germany's E-Energy pilot projects, moving toward what it is referring to as the Internet of Energy. We review the highlights.

  • Advocates point to drivers: costs fall, innovations rise

    Jun 13, 2012 | Phil Carson

    Falling prices and financing options have propelled solar photovoltaics and concentrating solar power plants to mainstream portfolio elements among utilities, according to solar advocates. While distributed generation continues to pose challenges, there's no turning back, advocates say. 

  • E-Energy pilot projects a research priority
  • Help is still needed: where does the federal government fit in?

    Energy storage investments
    May 24, 2012 | Kate Rowland

    In light of news announced in yesterday's Boston Business Journal that Bill Gates, chairman and former CEO of Microsoft, is among the investors in Liquid Metal Battery Corp.'s $15 million Series B round, it seemed appropriate to discuss the May 22 Senate committee hearing on the American Energy Innovation Council's (AEIC's) report, "Catalyzing American Ingenuity: The Role of Government in Energy Innovation." You see, Gates is also a member of the informal AEIC group, and not afraid to put his money where his mouth is.

  • EPRI's Robert Uluski puts the equation together

    May 03, 2012 | Kate Rowland

    Marrying DMS with OMS is just the beginning. EPRI's Robert Uluski's conversation with Intelligent Utility magazine editor-in-chief Kate Rowland looks at future applications, as well.

  • Industry group: monetize the balancing function

    Apr 15, 2012 | Phil Carson

    There's a natural tension between the innovations created by vendors and the constraints that bind their customers. Today we hand the floor to one element of the energy storage community: the Coalition to Advance Renewable Energy Through Bulk Storage or CAREBS. 

  • One advocate argues that economics will drive it

    Apr 12, 2012 | Phil Carson

    As more distributed resources connect to the grid, the more the grid itself will become a secondary feature, with generation and transmission serving as a backup system, argues one advocate of distributed generation. Economics and the American devotion to self-sufficiency will drive this trend, one that utilities can lead or trail. Some are, some aren't.

  • New report cites factors due to technology, economics

    Mar 20, 2012 | Phil Carson

    The issue on the table is how to integrate variable resources with the power grid in the most efficient and reliable manner. What are the challenges, both technically and in terms of policy?

  • GenerationHub.com, Energy Central's new online intelligence service for the electric power generation industry, is now live.