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Here’s Looking at You, Grid: Monthly Digest of the Top Content Submitted to the Grid Professionals Group in Energy Central- July 31, 2020

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Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

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  • Jul 31, 2020

If you’re paying attention to public policy discussions and mainstream attention on the energy industry, you’ve certainly noticed that the grid is getting more elevated attention than usual in recent weeks. Whereas generation is typically the ‘sexy’ topic to grab headlines and inspire debate, it’s definitely being recognized that no matter what the future of generation looks like it’s the grid infrastructure that needs updates, advancements, and focus for many years to come. So, of course, the Grid Professionals Community has been abuzz. To make sure you haven’t missed out if you’ve been busy or distracted, see what the most popular grid-focused posts on Energy Central have been for the past month in this update to the regular monthly digest!

Matt Chester

Community Manager


PS: You’ll note a number of stories have to do with energy storage, as our just released Special Issue on Energy Storage really captured attention and is quite pertinent to the world of Grid Professionals—check out the full suite of energy storage submissions to this special feature here.


Electric Cooperatives’ Insight: Innovation Through Energy Storage

Link to original article:

This digest is kicked off by Lee Ragsdale, Senior Vice President of Energy Delivery at North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives (NCEMC), in sharing the innovative approaches that coops in NC have engaged in over the past decade with regard to energy storage and other DERs to harden and advance their grid. In particular, the case study on how Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks, a remote area often vulnerable to sever storms, brings to light the opportunity for microgrids, demand response, and other creative solutions to unusual grid situations. Lee’s whole article is well worth a read, though, so be sure to check it out.


Batteries Used as Virtual Power Lines for More Renewables

Link to original article:

Another insight into energy storage technologies bringing about new opportunities comes from Elena Ocenic of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). In this fascinating article, Elena shares how batteries enable a concept called virtual power lines (not to be confused with virtual power plants), that come with their own unique set of advantages:

If this table piques your interest, be sure to read the whole article.


New DOE-Backed Project Will Tackle Barriers to Energy Storage Interconnection

Link to original article:

Just because the storage technology is available does not mean that the grid is ready to benefit, which is the problem looking to be tackled by this project shared by Gwendolyn Brown of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). This project seeks to “will identify and develop solutions to regulatory and technical barriers in the interconnection process of standalone energy storage and solar-plus-storage projects” and without a doubt looks poised to reshape what the grid of tomorrow will look like. Be sure to reference the links Gwendolyn shares to find out more, if you’re interested.



Energy Storage in the Grid: The Holy Grail?

Link to original article:

Stephane Bilodeau, the Chairman and Chief Technology Officer at Novacab Inc., has done the Energy Central community, and the Grid Professionals Group in particular, a great service with this series of articles. He goes into great detail and depth about not only what the challenges are in deploying energy storage, but also what options there are to get storage into play, the impacts it would have directly on utilities and customers, and a long-term assessment of how these changes could really reshape what we think we know about the utility industry. Invest some time today reading through this article, it will be well worth it!



This wraps up another edition of ‘Here’s Looking at You, Grid.’ Check back in this spot in four weeks to see what submissions have captured the attention of our community. And if you think there are stories I’m missing—let me know in the comments, or better yet submit an article on those stories so it can be included in the next issue.


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