IoT and Utilities: What's Hype? What's Real Change? ...and What You Need to Do

Utilities' commercial and operational infrastructures are fast evolving. There is broad agreement that the Internet of Things (IoT) and digitization are altering the competitive landscape in significant ways.

Installing solar to combat national security risks in the power grid

Allison Mills for Phys.org: Distributed microgrid tech can secure the electrical grids at military bases to reduce the impact of cyberattacks, physical attacks from terrorists and natural disasters.

Microgrids and the Future of Decentralized Power

UL works with industry leaders to develop a new standard for microgrids, blending in-lab product testing with on-site field evaluations.

Tesla powers a whole island with solar to show off its energy chops

James Vincent for The Verge:  Tesla completed its $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity this week, and, to celebrate, the company has announced a major solar energy project: wiring up the whole island of Ta’u in American Samoa. Previously, the island ran on diesel generators, but over the past year Tesla has installed a microgrid of solar energy panels and batteries that will supply "nearly 100 percent" of power needs for Ta’u’s 600 residents. The project seems intended to show off the potential benefits of the SolarCity acquisition, with Ta’u’s microgrid comprised of 5,328 solar panels from SolarCity and Tesla, along with 60 Tesla Powerpacks batteries for storage. But buying SolarCity remains a risky move for Tesla, with the purchase including billions of dollars of debt for a company that's far from profitable (SolarCity spends $6 for every $1 it makes in sales). Nevertheless, Tesla CEO Elon Musk describes the acquisition as "blindingly obvious" — a necessary step in his so-called "Master Plan" to integrate clean energy generation and storage.  Cont'd...

Are Microgrids Catching On?

The real trick to opening the floodgates on microgrids is clear regulatory language that allows microgrid developers to serve the needs of an organization or community while also making the local electric utility whole for their services and investment.

What Can be Learned from the Northeast's Use of Microgrids

State leaders in the Northeast should keep watch of neighboring states to share best practices and innovative solutions for microgrids. Stakeholders can also look nationwide to other states including California and Illinois, where officials are creating incentives and addressing regulatory challenges.

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LG Solar Unveils NeON R with Enhanced Aesthetics and Energy Savings

LG Solar Unveils NeON R with Enhanced Aesthetics and Energy Savings

The NeON R module features "Back Contact" cell technology delivering an entirely black panel that is aesthetically pleasing and energy efficient. The cell's seamless, surface blends perfectly into nearly all rooftop designs while the module's electrodes are positioned on the rear of the cell. Using LG's N-type cell structure, the panels produce 365W of energy, up to 7.3kWp, compared to 5.8kWp of the p-type cell. The module's new design minimizes LID, thereby delivering a longer lifespan and increased energy output.