Engerati’s week in energy: microgrids, power-to-gas and 10 companies to watch in 2015


Businesses are constantly evolving and reinventing themselves to stay ahead in today’s competitive and fast changing environment? Why should utilities – which need to be run on a sound business basis, albeit in many cases with specific rules of engagement and a captive customer pool – be any different?

This article first appeared in Metering & Smart Energy International issue 2-2018. Read the full digital magazine here or subscribe here to receive a print copy.

Some commentators have opined about the ‘death of the utility’. Engerati does not support that view. Neither does it support the view that utilities can continue unchanged but rather that they must adapt by offering new services.

As an example we have shown how DTE Energy is constructing a solar canopy with electric vehicle charging stations for Ford at its Dearborn headquarters. [DTE Energy To Build Solar Array For Ford – A Possible Blueprint For Commercial Sustainable Energy] DTE Energy will operate the facility under a 20-year agreement.

Focus on microgrids

Mircogrid Engerati smart energy roundupMicrogrids are another opportunity and Central Hudson has recently put forward the proposal to build, own and operate microgrids for customers. [Are Microgrids The Route To The Utility Of The Future?]

In the same piece, another proposal gathering momentum is that utilities could outsource their uniquely skilled workforce to microgrid operations. Private operators are unlikely to have the skills to manage and maintain these systems, or to handle the business aspects.

Such opportunities will vary according to location and another opportunity open to utilities is the off-grid market. Glencore’s Raglan Mine in the north of Quebec has installed what is Canada’s first large wind and energy storage system. [Canada Gets its First Large Wind and Energy Storage System]

The opportunities are there, and those that grasp them will be well on the way to securing their future businesses.

More from Engerati

Energy And Technology Pioneers – Ten Companies To Watch In 2015

The World Economic Forum has selected 24 companies, most in the start-up stage, as transformational technology pioneers for 2015 in the Energy and Clean Tech and other technology sectors. Among them are energy data analytics, rural microgrid and smart home connectivity pioneers.

biocat power to gas smart energy newsBiocat Power-To-Gas Project – A Potential Energy Storage Gamechanger?

Dominic Hofstetter, VP of Business Development, Electrochaea gives an update on the BioCat Power-To-Gas project which is engineering, designing, constructing and testing a 1MW power-to-gas facility using an alkaline electrolysis and biological methanation in Denmark. The technology is expected to be market-ready in early 2016.

Spotlight On South Pacific – On The Way To A Clean Energy Future

With the hosting of the Small Island Developing States meeting in Samoa this month Engerati reviews renewable energy development in this region, which has gathered pace over the past year with support from across the globe.

Data Centres in Illinois Respond Positively to Rebates But How Sustainable is This?

While utilities make more money as power consumption grows, too much demand calls for costly construction of generating or transmission capacity. In response, power supplier, ComEd launched a programme in 2008 which was aimed at cutting demand by industrial users. But now, focus has been shifted to data centers which are even bigger power consumers.

Community Microgrids Coming To New York

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced NY Prize as a US$40 million competition to engage local communities, entrepreneurs, businesses and electric utilities to design and implement community-based microgrids. The goal is to support innovative resiliency and clean energy projects across New York.

Building Automation Energati smart energy roundupOrange County is Demand Response Ready

Property management company Davis Partners have signed an agreement with building automation firm, Enerliance, to bring Automated Demand Response (ADR) capabilities to nearly 670,000 square feet of California’s Orange County Class A office space. During times of peak demand, the project will deliver 822kW of demand response capacity to Southern California Edison’s grid.

Stedin’s Energy Transition is Customer-Focused

Dutch network operator Stedin knows the importance of creating customized solutions for its customers. “We want our customers to become real fans of Stedin,” says Marko Kruithof, manager Sustainability and Renewal. “We aim to do this by being the customer’s strategic partner in energy matters.”

Engerati is the sister portal to Metering.com covering global smart energy news.