ECM TALKS ENERGY

Our latest in thought leadership to help you effectively decipher the market news and sector information that impacts your energy procurement and energy management efforts.

 
 
 
 
January 12, 2018

Transforming Your Energy Vision

by Margie Miller

Most Energy consumers hide behind the traditional methods of commodity purchasing, trying to time the market when they should be buying insurance or trying to find the “best” purchasing options. Emerging technologies and the growing needs of a continuously transforming power grid, demand that we look for new and innovative ways to approach the changing Energy needs of our world. But first we need to develop the vision – what does it look like and how do we get there?

As we all struggle to define the answers to these questions, perhaps the answer is closer to our grasp than we realize. If we look at the priorities that we have set before ourselves, a way to combine the three most prominent energy themes in this decade can be achieved through an innovative way of looking at power consumers as producers as well as end users.

The first and perhaps most prevalent priority is the effort to incentivize and stimulate the production of green energy and green energy technologies. Most states in the US have embraced some sort of Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard to stimulate and incentivize the development of green energy generation projects from as small as solar panels on a residential home to large windfarms on the hills of Appalachia. These programs have resulted in an explosion of Solar, Wind and Battery Storage projects to actually change the generation mix of electricity in a substantial way while moving to achieve a political and societal agenda.

The next rising priority is the need for electrical grid reliability and resiliency. An aging transmission system coupled with emerging threats to the power grid from storms and other disasters, is causing large companies and utilities to begin the development of Microgrids. Microgrids both large and small, allow consumers to segregate themselves from the power grid to maintain service during times of interruption. It also provides the ability to use green technologies to achieve this goal and receive the dual benefit of supporting green technologies. Microgrids utilizing battery storage and fuel cells can also relieve congestion for aging and congested transmission sub-feed stations – a growing threat all across the United States. The development of Microgrids is both relevant and necessary to protect our electrical system. Along with that requirement is the obligation to develop an electrical system to accommodate and financially support the development of these projects.

And finally, the ever-increasing need for Carbon reduction policies which actually stimulate real changes in the Carbon usage in the world. Large Corporations have finally taken on the mantel of moving their companies into 100% Carbon Neutral Policies. But what does that actually mean and how do they accomplish that goal with meaningful investments combined with purchases of Carbon Offsets?

We would like to suggest that all three of these priorities can be addressed by combining these three needs together into one conceptual project in the form of constructing your own Microgrid. By constructing a Microgrid using green generation technologies you can satisfy the goal of investing in clean energy technologies and concurrently provide self-contained base load generation to protect your company from power grid failures. The NYISO (New York Independent System Operator) is currently developing pilot programs to allow Microgrids to participate in the Energy Markets as generators, thus providing an income stream to pay for the expensive technologies associated with batteries and fuel cells. Successful integration of these pilot programs into the Energy Markets can provide future monetary benefits for investing in additional green energy generation projects or alternative funds for the purchasing of Carbon Offsets. Every dollar invested is green and every dollar earned is green.

ECM is uniquely poised to assist you with operating a Microgrid. Our bidding and scheduling expertise will provide the ability for you to participate in the wholesale energy markets and earn funds to invest in these projects. The added benefit is that this process will enable you to achieve your corporate goals. Energy Supply Companies provide supply – they are not in the business of bidding and scheduling generation which is what will be required to participate at this level. ECM can assist you with the financial plan for the Microgrid, the actual operation of the Microgrid and the participation in the markets which will give you the income to pay for the project. Let ECM help you Transform Your Energy Vision and achieve your corporate goals.

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