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Microgrid Deployment Forum 2013: Call for Speakers Open

HOMER Energy is currently accepting speaker proposals for its Microgrid Deployment Forum, November 8-9, 2013 in Cancun, Mexico. The two-day event will examine the business models, optimal technology mix, and critical steps for successfully deploying microgrid systems in remote, island, and off-grid environments. The emphasis will be on refining the business model as well as effectively planning, designing, and deploying microgrids.

The Forum will take place at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort & Spa, and is co-located with the Solar World Congress 2013, organized by the International Solar Energy Society. Day One of the Deployment Forum will consist of a series of panel sessions focused on the business and technology issues surrounding successful microgrid deployment. Day Two will be devoted to a hands-on training workshop featuring the HOMER software, as well as presentation of user case studies in the afternoon. Interested individuals who wish to make a presentation are encouraged to submit a speaking proposal by Friday, July 26.

For more information and to register, visit the event website. Super Early Bird rates are good thru August 3.

First HOMER Training Institute Held

The first HOMER Training Institute was held at HOMER Energy headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, on June 13 and 14, 2013. The first day focused on the basic principles of hybrid renewable microgrids using HOMER Explorer, and the second day explored advanced topics with HOMER 2. Participants enjoyed the small, informal format and the ability to learn from the problems other students were exploring. We are looking for other locations in which to hold future institutes. Please email us if you have an interest in hosting an institute.

Economic Optimization of Hybrid Renewable Microgrids

HOMER Energy's CEO, Dr. Peter Lilienthal, spoke at the Renewables in Remote Microgrids Conference two weeks ago in Toronto. Among the topics he covered was the role of storage in microgrids. "If renewable penetrations are in the single digit percentages, you don't need storage," Peter observed. "The most obvious application of storage involves charging all day when the sun shines and discharging at night. This is potentially cost-effective with thermal storage and pumped hydro, but hopelessly uneconomic with batteries." Nevertheless, he adds that the variability of renewable resources creats an important role for storage to improve the integration with the rest of the system. [Download presentation PDF]


HOMER Tip: Linked Sensitivities

If you’ve ever performed a sensitivity on solar photovoltaic (PV) capital cost, you may have seen the following warning in HOMER2:


This warning is to remind you that if you have performed a sensitivity analysis on PV capital cost, you will probably also want to perform a sensitivity analysis on PV replacement cost. The expectation is that if the initial capital cost for PV is less, it is likely that the replacement cost for PV will also be less. However, if you perform a sensitivity analysis on both of these, you will end up with sensitivity cases where the PV capital cost is high but the PV replacement cost is low and vice versa. That's why the HOMER software has linked sensitivities. To link sensitivity parameters, simply choose the parameter you would like to link in the dropdown menu of the sensitivity value window. The sensitivity window for PV Replacement Cost Multiplier is shown below, and is linked to the PV Capital Cost Multiplier.


When you link sensitivities, HOMER only considers sets of sensitivity values in the same location in the order, as shown below. This means that the two sensitivity values must have the same number of entries, although they need not have the same values.


It can be very useful to link a sensitivity on System Fixed Capital to another HOMER variable that you want to assign a cost to.

Industry Updates

North America Projected To Lead the Worldwide Microgrid Market

According to Navigant Research, North America features 63% of total global microgrid capacity (992 MW), with Asia Pacific coming in at a distant second place with 17% of global capacity (271 MW). Europe is in third place with 14% of global capacity (217 MW), and the rest of the world -- including Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa -- has the remaining 6% of capacity (101 MW). [more]

New York To Explore Distributed Generation and Microgrids

New York City's Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability plans to launch a microgrid feasibility study by the end of 2014, and will work with public and private partners to scale up distributed generation and microgrids. The OLTPS' goal is to install at least 55 MW of distributed generation in municipal buildings by the end of 2020. [more]

Standard Solar to Install One of the Nation's First Commercial Solar Microgrids

Located at Konterra's corporate headquarters in Laurel, MD, the islandable microgrid system is powered by a 402kW solar PV array. It is designed to enhance grid reliability by helping balance the grid through frequency regulation, volt-ampere reactive compensation, and demand response services. The system is scheduled to be operational by the fall of 2013. [more]

Growth Seen for Direct Current Distribution Networks

At present, the majority of progress in developing DC-based technologies has occurred at either the high-voltage (more than 1,000V) or low-voltage (less than 100V) level of electricity service. Since microgrids typically operate at medium voltage (~380-400V), much work needs to be done to bridge this voltage innovation gap. This is the focus of technology companies such as ABB, Intel, Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI), Emerson Network Power, and others. [more]

PGE Incorporates Microgrid into Smart Power Demo Center

Outfitted with a 5-megawatt, lithium-ion battery storage system, the center is intended to help Portland General Electric test how to store and better integrate variable renewable energy sources into the electrical grid, along with several other smart technologies as part of its Salem Smart Power Project. The technologies are designed to work together to create a microgrid that serves about 500 business and residential customers in southeast Salem, Oregon. [more]

Update on the Tokelau Renewable Energy Project

The Tokelau Renewable Energy Project, launched in 2010 and due to be completed in 2013, has seen the construction of a PV/diesel hybrid system on each atoll in the Pacific island nation of Tokelau. Previously, the atolls used diesel generator sets to provide electricity on a centralized distribution network. The new solar power systems were designed to provide at least 90% of the islands' electricity needs from solar power, and are expected to save roughly NZD 900,000 per year in diesel costs (for a capital cost of NZD 8.45 million).
[view case study]

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