The Microgrid 2.0 keynote luncheon.
Conference photos Pure Light Images.
Distributed generation, resiliency and public-private partnerships were among the leading discussion topics at Microgrid 2.0, held Oct. 29-31 in Baltimore, Md. Cosponsored by the Microgrid Resources Coalition and IDEA, the event attracted participants from a variety of institutions, government agencies, manufacturers and consultancies. For many, it was their
first IDEA conference, and it offered new insights into the growing market for localized energy
production and distribution.
Two panel discussions rounded out
the afternoon. The first, moderated by
IDEA President and CEO Rob Thornton,
offered an operational perspective on
microgrids. Panelists discussed the evolution of microgrid markets, the surge in
momentum and regulatory reform, and
the range of opportunities and challenges
emerging as more segments of the economy recognize the value of enhanced
business continuity and benefits of more
resilient local distributed generation
The second panel, moderated by
Christopher Berendt of Drinker Biddle &
Reath, focused on market design and policies that support microgrids. Panelists
discussed the types of policies and tariffs
that enable the development of multi-customer microgrids in various market
segments including institutions, military
bases, health care, research clusters, central business districts, mixed-use developments and mission-critical public services.
MONDAY, OCT. 29
The conference began with a luncheon and keynote address by Cheryl A.
LaFleur, now in her eighth year as a commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She shared her insights
about the three major trends that are dramatically reshaping the country’s energy
landscape. The first trend is the tremendous growth in the availability and afford-ability of domestic natural gas facilitated
by fracking and other extractive technologies. The second is the evolution in
renewable and demand-side technologies, driven by policy as well as technological change and customer choice. And
the third is the growing recognition of the
environmental impact of energy use and
delivery, especially climate change issues.
In her view, the movement toward more
localized energy production and distribution is a substantial one in which combined heat and power, energy storage and
microgrids will play a major role.
FERC Commissioner Cheryl A. LaFleur shared
her insights on the rapidly changing energy
environment characterized by growing
demand for distributed generation.
Advancing Industry Growth