HOMER Energy will host its fourth annual Microgrid Conference at Columbia University in New York, Nov. 7-8 2016, drawing experienced microgrid developers from all over the world with the theme “Microgrids Lessons from Global Markets.” HOMER Energy founder and CEO Peter Lilienthal will elaborate on that theme as a keynote speaker, exploring the lessons that island and developing country microgrids can bring to industrialized energy markets. He will draw upon HOMER Energy experience designing microgrids in Haiti after the devastating earthquake of 2010, as well as other island energy projects.
From off-grid to grid-tied
Past growth in the global market for microgrids has been strongest in the remote, island, and off-grid sectors. However, the advantages of microgrids are now becoming more obvious in grid-tied environments. Partly because of the catastrophic damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy, New York State is now seeking to become a leader in microgrid technology, funding dozens of community feasibility studies on how to make critical infrastructure more resilient through microgrids that don’t require daily visits from refueling trucks.
New York businesses lost billions of dollars while waiting for grid power to be restored in the wake of the hurricane. Microgrids could have provided back up power in that situation, allowing industrial customers to continue operating off-grid temporarily. New York Public Service Commissioner Audrey Zibelman, a recognized expert in energy policy, markets, and smart grid innovation, will be a keynote speaker at the HOMER Microgrid Conference, explaining the state’s new comprehensive plan to modernize and transform its electric industry, and the important role microgrids will play in that plan. Also, from New York, Ke Wei, Senior Energy Policy Advisor the for the New York City Mayor’s Office will explore resilience issues from a city perspective.
Aside from a detailed comparison of microgrid technology in developing and industrialized country settings, the HOMER Microgrid Conference is specifically designed to walk attendees through the process of implementing a successful project. Sessions will carefully examine microgrid business models, technology options, and critical steps for planning, designing, and deploying a successful microgrid. The conference also offers optional in-depth training sessions in the HOMER software with certified trainers, both at the introductory and advanced levels.
Other keynote speakers will address the ongoing need for microgrids to provide reliable power in the developing world. Richenda Van Leeuwen, former head of Energy Access for the United Nations Foundation, will describe worldwide efforts to invest in renewable energy solutions for sustainable development and climate change mitigation. Pradeep Pursnani, COO of the UK-based Shell Foundation, will explain the role microgrids play in improving energy access, one of the most challenging global development issues. The World Bank, which financed $6.5 billion in renewable energy / energy efficiency projects last year, has signed on as a partner to the HOMER Microgrid Conference, because of the role microgrids can play in global poverty reduction.