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Energy News Network: Sharing systems could help building owners get more from microgrids

Posted by Kevin Stark on Jan 3, 2019

In this article Energy News Network looks at the potential for shared microgrids like the one recently established on Chicago’s Museum Campus. AEE's Ryan Katofsky shares his perspective. See excerpts below and the entire Energy News Network story here:

Shared microgrids can help building owners lower costs and boost resilience, but big questions need to be sorted out first on how the systems operate. 

While still a fledgling market, shared microgrids — sometimes called multi-user microgrids — are gaining increased attention from researchers and industry players. As with single-user microgrids, the systems combine some type of energy storage and generation with technology that allows them to separate from the larger grid in the event of a power outage or other disruption.

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Topics: AEE In The News

Midwest Energy News: Illinois AG objects to incentives for smart meter cloud computing

Posted by Kevin Stark on May 22, 2018

Kevin Stark reports: The Illinois Attorney General’s Office doesn’t like a proposal by state regulators to let utilities recover the cost of cloud computing services.
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Topics: AEE In The News

Midwest Energy News: Illinois regulators look to cloud computing to boost smart grid

Posted by Kevin Stark on Feb 22, 2018

Kevin Stark reports that states could encourage investment in smart-grid apps and software by changing rules that reward spending on capital instead of services. Here are excerpts:Smart meters produce an endless stream of data for utilities, but outdated regulations discourage them from investing in apps and software that could make use of the information.A recent report from the Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEE) urges states to consider reforms that would give utilities more financial incentive to embrace cloud computing and other technology. Illinois is among a handful of states already considering such changes.The problem stems from the way most utilities make money: Companies are generally rewarded for making capital investments — think power plants or computer hardware — but not for operational costs such as salaries or software services.As smart meters become increasingly common, the potential for cloud computing to produce tangible benefits for customers and the electric grid is growing, too. That’s why some want to see a way for utilities to incorporate those investments into a rate base.“The financial incentives — and what they motivate utilities to do — are not always in the best interest of customers,” said Danny Waggoner, an author of the AEE report, Utility Earnings in a Service-Oriented World, which outlines ways that cloud computing and distributed energy could replace capital investment as a major source of revenue for utilities.The report describes five potential regulatory models designed to help utilities invest in services rather than capital “at equal or lower cost to customers, while in many cases providing equivalent or greater earnings to the utility.”See complete Midwest Energy News story here.
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Topics: AEE In The News