The Center for Microgrid Research at the University of Saint Thomas provides students and clean energy industry leaders with unique opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research and the development of state-of-the-art microgrid technologies.
Demand for energy ebbs and flows throughout the days, weeks and year. Power companies must balance grid stability and customer satisfaction during these peak times, as electricity becomes more and more entwined with our daily lives. Programs that offer incentives to customers who decrease their energy consumption during peak times are called demand response programs.
Back in the 1990’s all of the solar power installed in Minnesota was known as “off-grid solar,” a thing only interesting to people who owned remote cabins. By necessity, these power systems were self-contained, having energy storage that was optimized for the most run-time that the customer could afford.
Most Minnesotans stayed warm and their lights stayed on in February while thousands of Texans endured days without electricity. As Texas temperatures dipped as low as -4 degrees on February 16, much of Minnesota was experiencing much colder temperatures. While outages in Minnesota were not widespread, in Moorhead, the Moorhead Public Service said blackouts were possible over multiple days.
Transmission policy is a complicated business, and 2021 will involve a number of important policy debates. Transmission policy revolves around markets that ensure power reaches our homes and businesses, often crossing wide regions and crossing state lines. We refer to the regional power delivery system as the transmission or bulk electric grid. Coordinating energy supply and demand across wide regions involves complex policies for building out new transmission, ensuring reliable operation of the system, and regulating market activities on that system.
You might recognize OATI’s beautiful, glass building that sits just off of 494 and France Avenue in Bloomington. What you might not know, is that when the Department of Energy started its smart grid program more than 15 years ago, OATI led the market in the promise of a smarter, more sustainable electric grid for […]
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