Abraham Ellis, manager of Sandia’s Photovoltaic and Distributed Systems Integration Department, testified last week on microgrid technologies before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee at a field hearing in Cordova, Alaska. During the hearing, Ellis provided a perspective on microgrids and hybrid systems.

Alaska is home to many remote microgrids. For example, Sandia is collaborating with the Cordova Electric Cooperative (CEC)  and  the  Alaska  Center  for  Energy   and  Power  (ACEP)  to  investigate  the  feasibility  of  using  energy  storage  to  reduce  diesel  fuel  consumption  and  make  optimal  use  of  existing  hydro generation.  The basic concept is that the energy storage system will provide contingency reserve capacity, deliver more low-cost hydro energy to the load, and extend the period of time when the system  can  operate  in  “diesel-off”  mode.  This  project  will  result  in  an  energy  storage  system  deployment planned for 2017.

Listen to and read the Alaska Public Radio coverage to hear more about the proceedings.