A battle for clean energy: the Kit Carson coop story

That outdated business models, conflicting interests, and aging technologies hogtie today’s behemoth electric utilities is no more evident than in the picturesque rural community of Taos, New Mexico. It is there that an inspired and tenacious collection of local energy champions have upended the sluggish pace of change that is the “business as usual” of many utilities. Read More

Puerto Rico shines a bright light on the shortcomings of the world’s electricity infrastructure

On August 7, 2018, an untrimmed tree fell on an electrical transmission line in Puerto Rico, leaving 130,000 people in San Juan without power for an hour and a half. Big deal, right? When compared to the immense and long-lasting damage done to the island’s grid by Hurricane Maria the year before, a brief power… Read More

Microgrid powered neighborhoods are a real thing – how can we get more of them?

Imagine a neighborhood powered entirely by local energy. Shared solar panels, energy efficient homes, and community batteries to power houses at night. Even when the grid is down, lights and air conditioning will keep running without a hitch. While this vision remains a rarity, it is starting to happen. The Reynolds Landing Smart Neighborhood in… Read More

Hawaii is a postcard from our electric future (Part 2)

Island power grids are a microcosm of the vastly larger grids that criss-cross the planet. In Part 1 of this series, we looked at how small islands are pioneering the path to clean energy. They are disproving conventional wisdom by showing that intermittent power from the sun and wind can successfully provide affordable and reliable… Read More

Islands: fruity drinks, sandy beaches, and the future of the electric grid (Part 1)

The shift to clean, local energy is a real challenge for many utilities. Their traditional planning models choke on the variability of solar and wind power. Self-generation from rooftop solar and improvements in energy efficiency threaten to end a century of revenue growth. Increases in extreme weather events are making blackouts more common. To get away from all these… Read More

Montgomery County Maryland didn’t have the budget for their microgrid so they invented a new business model

It was the summer of 2012 and the Mid-Atlantic was being pummeled by one of the worst storms in years. This was the second summer of heavy thunderstorms and squalls to come through Montgomery County, Maryland, in as many years.  The county leaders were scrambling to dispatch police and emergency workers. But with so many… Read More

How did CEO Chandu Visweswariah take Utopus Insights from clean energy startup to $100M acquisition in 12 months?

On February 2, 2018, US$12 billion wind turbine giant, Vestas, acquired New York startup, Utopus Insights, for $100M in cash. Utopus provides several products including predictive analytic software tools that help utilities manage intermittent energy sources like wind. This is a behind the scenes story of the Utopus CEO… Chandu Visweswariah is one of the… Read More

Why are the lights still out in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico has become an island of generators. Almost 10 weeks after Hurricane Maria tore across the island, more than 40% of Puerto Rico still lacks access to grid electricity. Actually, this number is the power company’s (PREPA) self-reported electrical generation capacity. No one really knows the number of people still without power so it’s… Read More