Electricity 2.0: Understanding the Transformative Potential of Microgrids and Distributed Power

On Wednesday, November 10, NDN hosted a panel discussion moderated by Electricity 2.0 Chair Michael Moynihan on microgrids and distributed generation.  As part of its ongoing series exploring key elements of Electricity 2.0,  this event joined together four industry pioneers; Sean Casten, President and CEO of Recycled Energy Development, Guy Warner, CEO of Pareto Energy, John Kelly, Deputy Director of the Galvin Initiative and Jeff Marqusee, Executive Director of SERDP and ESTCP at the Department of Defense who is leading microgrid development at the Department of Defense.

These leaders in localized generation and power management discussed the overwhelming success of cogeneration.  Cogeneration has revolutionized industrial power in the US, but also the huge, untapped potential of microgrids harnessing cogen and distributed power to modernize American electricity.  The opportunity is immense but key policy obstacles continue to block implementation.  Comparatively, minor changes in law could unleash an explosion in clean, microgrid power that would not only improve America's carbon footprint, but also democratize energy and create a large economic platform for job and wealth creation.  

Among the panelist's suggestions:

  • Amend the Clean Air Act to measure air quality outcomes, not inputs so that adding cogen does not inadvertently trigger project-killing regulatory filings.
  • Allow companies and private applicants access equal to that of utilities to run wires across streets particularly in industrial areas.  Currently, outdated laws often prevent companies and government installations from sharing excess clean power with neighbors or even affiliates if a street lies in the way-even if that power would meet a critical need.
  • Replicate the idea of Energy Improvement Districts developed in Connecticut nationwide to facilitate efficient microgrid development Develop common standards for supergrid-microgrid connections to facilitate network resilience.
  • Publicize areas lacking adequate substations and electrical service that might be good candidates for microgrids.
  • Provide funding for US government facilities, particularly, military ones to improve network resilience and security through microgrids and distributed generation.

These are only a few of the ideas discussed at this event.  To watch the video, click on the link below.

Event Date: 
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - 7:30am


NDN Event Space
United States