April 18, 2018
Clean Energy Group has written a new report for activists and foundations who want to understand how battery storage can become an essential new part of their clean energy and climate advocacy. It tries to answer two basic questions: (1) What do we need to know to understand these opportunities? and (2) What actions should we support to realize them? The report explores the top 10 emerging trends for battery storage across all elements of the energy system, and it recommends over 50 actions that should be taken to accelerate battery storage in these topic areas. CESA Project Director Todd Olinsky-Paul was a co-author.
March 24, 2017
Out of the 83 community microgrid proposals funded under stage 1 of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s NY Prize program, eleven are moving on to stage 2. Each microgrid, many of which include solar and storage, will be awarded $1 million to fund detailed design, engineering, and financing feasibility studies. Stage 3 winners will vie for a remaining $20 million in NY Prize funds, along with a chance to secure up to $50 million in financing from the NY Green Bank. Read more here and here.
December 6, 2016
The California Energy Commission will award up to $26 million in grants for advanced technologies and solutions that support the increased viability, capability, adoption or grid integration of distributed solar resources. The Commission’s solicitation calls for pilot demonstrations of advanced solar+storage technologies, enhanced modeling tools to maximize solar+storage benefits, advanced smart inverter capabilities that help reduce the adverse impacts of high amounts of PV on the grid, forecasting tools the California Independent System Operator can integrate into its planning efforts, and energy storage technologies that prevent the uncontrolled mid-day export of large amounts of solar PV generation to the grid and reduce the evening net load peak. Read more here.
November 30, 2015
By Todd Olinsky-Paul, CESA Project DirectorAmong the Northeastern states hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, it was clear from the very start that Massachusetts took resilient power seriously. In the three years since then, the state has continued to roll out flagship programs and a serious commitment of resources.
Initially committing $40 million to the deployment of municipal-led resilient power systems in its Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative (CCERI), the state issued 27 technical assistance awards for project feasibility studies, and 19 project implementation awards in 2014, of which 11 involve solar+storage technologies. Because many of these projects will serve multiple facilities, a total of 28 critical facilities, including schools/shelters, communications centers, first responder facilities and hospitals, will have resilient solar+storage systems, with another handful of facilities relying primarily on CHP systems. The grant-winning municipalities are geographically diverse, and the state program included an extra incentive for low- to median-income communities to participate.
Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), which administered the program, still has $12 million to spend in a third round of resiliency funding. In addition, DOER has recently upped its game with the announcement of another $10 million for energy storage deployment.
DOER is not the only Massachusetts energy agency interested in resiliency and storage. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has supported energy storage technology advancement through its InnovateMass grant program, and is now seeking to put more resources toward its own storage demonstration projects. And the state Department of Public Utilities is engaged in a grid modernization planning initiative that includes among its intended benefits increased reliability and resiliency of electrical services, investment in new technologies, and the integration of energy storage and microgrids into the state’s electricity infrastructure. Massachusetts utilities are required to formulate 10-year modernization plans incorporating these elements.
In order to provide some direction for all this new investment, DOER and MassCEC are cooperatively funding a two-part study to develop an energy storage roadmap for the state. In addition to expanding understanding of the opportunities for storage, the study is intended to identify the right amount of storage for the state’s needs, its applications, and the types of supports needed to bring the emerging energy storage industry to Massachusetts. The study is due early in 2016, and DOER anticipates issuing a solicitation based on its recommendations.
As I write this, the New York Times is reporting that a severe wind storm has left more than 380,000 customers without power in the Pacific Northwest. Clearly, widespread and long-lasting power outages are a universal problem, whether due to hurricanes, snow and ice, high winds, drought and wildfires, earthquakes, flooding, or more mundane equipment failures and human error. Lessons could be learned from Massachusetts’ commitment and leadership on this issue.
November 11, 2015
For more than a decade the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has promoted combined heat and power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, as an efficient and reliable energy technology. CHP systems produce electricity from an engine or generator and capture heat generated during this process for separate uses, such as space heating. By recycling the leftover heat, they can produce energy more efficiently than if the electricity and heat were produced separately. Modern CHP systems typically use natural gas, so they have low emissions. Many kinds of facilities use CHP systems, including hospitals, apartment buildings, and large commercial office buildings.
May 28, 2015
Massachusetts has announced the launch of a $10 million Energy Storage Initiative (ESI) to fund energy storage demonstration projects. These projects will range from residential to utility scale. The ESI will include two studies, one analyzing the industry landscape, and the second providing policy and regulatory recommendations as well as a cost-benefit analysis. Funding for the ESI will come from the state's alternative compliance payments (ACPs). Read more here.
April 30, 2015
Two big announcements have come out of New York over the last couple weeks: $500,000 will be awarded through the New York Prize Microgrid Competition to fund five microgrid feasibility studies and $450 million in funding was announced for commercial/industrial scale solar PV systems. The announced NY-Sun Commercial/Industrial Incentive Program includes extra incentives for projects incorporating an energy storage component. For more information, click here.
April 17, 2015
The results of New Jersey’s Renewable Electric Storage Competitive Solicitation are in, and they are impressive. With only $3 million to spend, the state Board of Public Utilities has announced awards to 13 solar+storage projects (one also uses a significant amount of wind generation) that will provide resilient power to critical facilities such as schools serving as emergency shelters and wastewater treatment plants.
April 16, 2015
While other states are trying to attract microgrid developers through incentive programs, Maryland has another plan: to foster a market that is itself an incentive. Through quantifying the benefits of resilient power and by reducing soft costs, the Maryland Energy Administration hopes to build a market that will make the state competitive for microgrid developers. “My goal is that I never have to design another grant program again," said Kyle Haas, a Maryland energy policy manager. Read more about Maryland's microgrid strategy in an article by Elisa Wood for Microgrid Knowledge here.
January 2, 2015
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has announced its second round of resilience program awards, and once again, the results are extraordinary.
In the first round of the $40 million Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative, DOER awarded $7.4 million for six municipal projects, of which three included solar + storage. DOER also made 27 technical assistance grants to help municipalities prepare project proposals for round 2.
In round 2, DOER awarded $18.5 million to 15 municipal resiliency projects, two-thirds of which incorporate solar + storage.
The round 2 projects include:
Cambridge: Battery storage with a 170kW solar PV system to support a drinking water treatment plant during short grid outages, and the Water and Electrical Department offices, the water laboratory, and the municipal emergency operations center during longer outages.
Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative: 1,356 kW solar PV with 512kW battery backup to supply resilient power to the Dennis Yarmouth Regional High School, a regional emergency shelter that also serves as a food preparation and distribution center for the community. The battery would also be used to reduce demand charges through peak load shedding at the school during regular, non-emergency operation.
Greenfield: Battery storage paired with a 207kW solar PV installation at the local high school. Currently, the back-up power at the site is supplied by diesel generators that will operate for 2-3 days, but recent severe weather events have resulted in power outages lasting up to one week. The high school provides emergency shelter and services to the town’s growing elderly and high-needs populations.
Holyoke: Solar PV plus batteries will be installed at three different project sites to provide resilient power for 100% load for up to three days. The fire headquarters will receive a 53 kW photovoltaic system and a 300 kWh battery bank, which will run in combination with an existing backup generator. Mt. Tom Tower, the emergency communications tower for the city, will receive a small PV system, a small wind turbine, and a 200 kWh battery. And the Dean School, a community shelter, will receive a 600 kW PV array with a 483 kWh battery bank, which will run in combination with an existing back-up generator.
Medford: The city will install solar PV with battery storage at the Department of Public Works and at the Andrews School, along with islanding equipment at each site.
Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Beverly: The city will install a 232kW PV array with 77kWh of battery storage, which will power four critical facilities at the Beverly Cache Site in the event of a power outage. This site serves as a Regional Equipment Cache for the Northeast Massachusetts Homeland Security Region, as the location of the Beverly, MA Civil Defense Department, and as the home base of Massachusetts Task Force 1, one of the nation's 28 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Teams.
Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Wayland: Islanding capability and advanced switches will be installed at Wayland Middle School, a regional shelter, to augment a proposed PV carport. This would allow solar to decrease the burden on the diesel back-up generator during a grid outage. Battery storage may be added at a future date.
Northampton: The city will construct a microgrid with on-site renewable generation and battery storage to serve three high priority emergency facilities: the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, the Department of Public Works, and Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
Sterling: Battery storage will be added to increase the resiliency of Sterling’s solar microgrid, providing resilient power to critical services at the police station and dispatch center. The battery array will also be used daily to provide real-time demand response, frequency regulation services, and off-peak to on-peak load shifting.
In addition, DOER awarded grants to Barnstable for a CHP system to support the Barnstable Intermediate School (a public shelter), to Boston for a CHP system to support the Boston Medical Center and a nearby emergency communications structure, and to the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District for CHP units and anaerobic digesters to provide resilient power to the wastewater treatment plant.
These projects will bring real benefits to communities all over Massachusetts. In future severe storms, when the electric grid goes down, the people in these communities will be able to rely on emergency services provided by facilities equipped with clean, resilient power systems.
Clean Energy Group is proud to have supported Massachusetts DOER in their resilient power program, and looks forward to continuing to work with DOER in the coming years.
For information on the first-round DOER grants, visit the Community Clean Energy Resiliency webpage.
December 13, 2014
CESA/CEG's 2014 summer intern Jillian Corley wrote an article for the Poughkeepsie Journal about her experience working on our Resilient Power Project. Read the full article here.
September 18, 2014
Clean Energy Group has released a new paper about the progress of “resilient power” efforts since the New York City blackouts in 1999 to Superstorm Sandy. The paper goes on to announce the launch of the Resilient Power Project and describes the importance of new technologies like solar PV with energy storage to provide resilient power as weather patterns become increasingly volatile and longer power outages become more frequent.
August 1, 2014
The Resilient Rhode Island Act, the state's first comprehensive climate change bill, was officially signed on August 1. The bill has received strong support since it was proposed.
July 31, 2014
By Henry Gass, ClimateWire
July 31, 2014
Earlier this year Governor Malloy announced a joint effort between DEEP and the University of Connecticut - the creation of a multi-disciplinary, regional center of excellence, the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA). CIRCA brings together experts in the natural sciences, engineering, economics, political science, finance, and law to provide practical solutions to a changing climate. The Institute will help coastal and inland floodplain communities in Connecticut and throughout the Northeast better adapt to climate impacts and make their human-built infrastructure more resilient while protecting ecosystems and the services they offer (recreation, storm protection, food, clean air and water, and energy).
July 23, 2014
CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION TAKES STEPS TO ESTABLISH ENERGY RESILIENCE BANK: Innovative Program will Address Resilience of Critical Infrastructure and Facilities
July 15, 2014
The California Energy Commission has just announced $26.5 million in grants for microgrid projects that “incorporate clean, low-carbon energy resources with energy storage and on-site energy management” to help meet the state’s carbon reduction and renewable energy goals. Read more on this story in Greentech Media's article "California Ready to Fund the Next Wave of Microgrids Paired with Renewables and Storage."
May 15, 2014
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (MassDOER) is offering $40 million for energy resiliency projects as part of their Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative. The funding will be awarded through two separate solicitations, one for technical assistance and another for project implementation. “These grants will provide an opportunity for cities and towns to tap the technology and expertise of the commonwealth’s clean energy industry to protect residents and businesses from the effects of climate change,” said MassDOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia.
April 24, 2014
The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation presented a report to the Rhode Island Climate Change Commission entitled Understanding the Economic Development Opportunity and Impact of Climate Change. This report provides an overview and framework for planning and preparing for the economic development opportunities and impacts related to climate change.
April 23, 2014
Mayor Vincent C. Gray and District government agency leaders today presented the first-year progress report on Sustainable DC, Mayor Gray’s initiative to ensure the District becomes the nation’s greenest, healthiest, most livable city.
April 19, 2014
The Energy Trust of Oregon provided $1.5 million in funding to the Oregon Institute of Technology for a solar and geothermal plant. “As Oregonians, clean energy is practically in our DNA,” said Oregon Senator Ron Wyden. “Nothing in my view epitomized that more than Oregon Tech. You’ve got here a solar, geothermal project that provides an incredible value, not just to Oregon Tech, and the students here, but also to the Basin and to the state. It creates jobs, reduces our carbon footprint and saves money. That is a trifecta, my friends, in which everybody wins.” Read more about this project here.
March 6, 2014
Governor Dannel P. Malloy today joined state and local officials at Wesleyan University in Middletown to help power up the first microgrid project to come online under the inaugural round of Connecticut’s statewide microgrid pilot program. During the ceremony, the Governor also announced that proposals for a second round of projects under the program are now being accepted.
March 3, 2014
Researchers, developers and policy makers involved with promoting micro grids met in Austin, Texas, last week to share their work at the Microgrid RODEO Summit. Jeremy VanderMeer of ACEP presented on the research he and Dr. Marc Mueller-Stoffels have been performing on integrating a potential geothermal energy source into the wind-diesel microgrid of Nome, Alaska.
February 25, 2014
Governor Martin O’Malley tapped his Energy Advisor, Abigail Hopper, to lead the Resiliency Through Microgrids Task Force to study the statutory, regulatory, financial, and technical barriers to the deployment of microgrids in Maryland. Microgrids combine clean, distributed power generation with advanced control technologies, enabling portions of the electric grid to remain online even if the wider grid is down. This effort builds on recommendations from the Grid Resiliency Task Force’s report issued in September 2012. This roadmap could also offer assistance to Maryland entities that apply for Department of Energy funding to assist with microgrid development.
“Marylanders expect and deserve an electric grid they can count on, especially during unpredictable severe weather events. Developing microgrids is critical to a sustainable future,” said Governor O’Malley. “As smart grid technologies continue to improve, microgrids have the potential to become an important piece of the climate resilience puzzle. The roadmap this task force will create will pave the way to a stronger, more reliable power grid in every corner of our State.”
The Resiliency Through Microgrids Task Force, staffed by the Maryland Energy Administration, will hold a series of public meetings starting March 3rd, with additional meetings through the rest of the month. The meetings will include panels of experts from across the State and nation and provide an opportunity for Maryland residents to contribute to the development guide.
The Task Force will focus on the statutory, regulatory, financial and technical barriers to the development of microgrid energy systems, including advanced control technologies, generation assets, and energy storage. It will also identify possible locations for pilot microgrid projects in high-demand areas across Maryland. The Task Force will report back to the Governor with a roadmap for action to address these barriers by April 14, 2014.
“I am excited to begin these discussions so that Maryland can clear the way for future microgrid deployment,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, Governor O’Malley’s Energy Advisor and Director of the Maryland Energy Administration. “Microgrids involve novel technologies deployed in new and interesting ways. By engaging key stakeholders and charting a clear path forward, we will offer Marylanders another tool to increase the resilience of the electric distribution system.”
February 21, 2014
As cities and states seek to improve the resilience, reliability, and efficiency of the electric grid in the face of increasingly severe storms and other emerging threats, microgrids offer policy makers, elected leaders and the communities they serve an additional tool with which to address these challenges.
February 12, 2014
Solar and Energy Storage Can Protect Cities from Power Outages, Create Resilient Communities
August 5, 2013
Governor Cuomo Announces Action to Spur More Than $3 Billion in Private Investment to Help Communities Implement Storm Recovery Plans
Governor Directs State Agencies to Prioritize Rebuilding Projects and Accelerate Permitting
July 9, 2013
Rocky Hill, Conn., July 9, 2013 — The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) today released a rolling Request for Proposals (RFP) for its Combined Heat and Power Pilot Program. Pursuant to Section 103 of Public Act 11-80, and subsequently amended by Public Act 12-2, CEFIA is charged with administering a three-year $6 million dollar pilot program. The total funding remaining in the program for all selected projects under this competitive solicitation is $5 million dollars. This program will offer support for projects that are below five megawatts.
June 3, 2013
The new briefing paper from Todd Olinsky-Paul, Project Director at Clean Energy States Alliance, explores whether RPSs could be used to help address the problem of electric grid failures from severe storms.
July 31, 2012
Leading scientists outline opportunities for solutions
October 31, 2011
In a recent letter to US Lawmakers on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, Clean Energy States Alliance Executive Director Mark Sinclair expressed support for continued energy-related programs such as the Energy Title of the 2088 Farm, Conservation, and Energy Act: