Nevada Task Force Considers Microgrids


A new energy task force in Nevada is considering legislation that would using microgrids to make local electrical grids greener and more resilient. The task force will consider proposing legislation for new microgrid and energy pilot projects at its September 27th meeting, according to a recently released meeting agenda.

The task force was created this year to find new ways to support energy projects throughout Nevada. The task force will also be considering energy storage targets as part of its policy recommendations.

The work of the task force is similar to that of several working groups throughout state governments, especially in areas like Nevada that deal with or are at risk of extreme climate challenges.

Microgrids, as the name might suggest, are small electrical grids that can spring into action at critical infrastructure sites like hospitals or airports and provide redundancy if there is a disruption of service within a larger electrical grid network.

As CivSource reported earlier this year, Denver is working on a pilot project with Xcel Energy has presented a project to build a microgrid with contributions from Panasonic and Denver International Airport that will demonstrate the use of Solar Photo Voltaic and Lithium Ion storage batteries working together.

Other major providers of grid technology including Siemens and GE have both recently announced North American strategies that involve heavy investments in microgrid research and development.

This week, Opus One, an energy technology provider, also said it was working on a cross-border microgrid project that would span across the US and Canadian border. The $16.4M Transactive Energy (TE) project includes $5.4 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), and contributions from a consortium of partners: Opus One, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Smarter Grid Solutions, the Centre for Urban Energy (CUE) at Ryerson University, Nova Scotia Power, Emera Maine, and Toronto Hydro.

The project will connect three microgrids between Maine and eastern Canada to show how microgrids can be useful in integrating renewable energy into the grid while also saving money. Emera Maine will be using solar power for its microgrid and Nova Scotia Power will use solar. The different energy sources will mix to provide power, store power, and increase overall resiliency.