Press Coverage

Press Coverage

  • Microgrid Knowledge

    Last Minute Holiday Gifts for Microgrid Aficionados

    ProtoGen Energy Aligned, Quakertown, PA company, did what all good entrepreneurs do: identified problem and came up with a solution. The problem? Most of the world has no idea what those of us in energy are talking about most of the time. ProGen’s solution is an attractive deck of flashcards that define in common speak many of the energy industry’s most brow furrowing terms. From anaerobic digester to virtual net metering, it’s all here. Kevin Wright, ProtoGen co-founder and president, told us he came up with the idea in the wake of the Sierra Club’s “Ready for 100” campaign. The grassroots effort resulted in numerous municipalities in southeastern Pennsylvania issuing solicitations for development of specific, local plans for transitioning to renewable energy. In meeting with municipal and Sierra Club stakeholders, it became evident to Wright that there was a need to better educate the public about the economic, regulatory, and technical implications of undertaking such a transition. That requires teaching at least the rudiments of energy speak.

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  • Microgrid Knowledge

    The Philadelphia Navy Yard Story: The Remarkable Emergence of an Unintentional Microgrid

    From rags to riches, the Philadelphia Navy Yard offers one of the more remarkable tales of the emergence of a microgrid. Located at the confluence of the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers, the site was an abandoned shipyard 20 years ago with most of its electric service turned off. Today, it’s a thriving commercial center, powered by one of the nation’s most sophisticated — and evolving — microgrids. Credit for its success goes to an unusual coming together of the military, the city of Philadelphia, the local electric utility, a development authority and some energy visionaries. Oh, and dog lovers. The story begins in the late 1990s when the federal government decided to shutdown the Naval shipyard, one of 97 major installations closed as part of the United States post Cold War military cutback. The decision left city officials trying to figure out how to blunt the economic loss. The shipyard, once one of the world’s largest, employed 47,000 people at its height during World War II. By the time it announced plans to close, it had 7,400 employees.

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  • Microgrid Systems Laboratory

    MSL, PENN STATE, SFCC TEAM FOR DESTENI

    Pennsylvania State University (PSU), a leader in microgrid and energy storage technology, distributed energy systems, and associated workforce training initiatives, has joined forces with Santa Fe Community College, supported by MSL and ProtoGen Energy, to develop the new DESTENI program (Distributed Energy Systems Technical Education Network Initiative). The consortium (convened by MSL) has submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technology Education program for its initial funding in 2020, having reached the finalist stage of consideration last year. The goal is to develop a widely replicable and industry validated Distributed Energy Systems Technician training program of curriculum components and certifications that will significantly advance the knowledge and implementation of education and training nationally in these critical emerging energy technologies. DESTENI builds on SFCC’s current work with MSL in this area, including the NM SMART Grid Center new faculty hire, and the “Nanogrid” training facilities on campus. PSU has created a number of related foundational programs, including the Energy Storage and Microgrid Training and Certification (ESAMTAC) with ProtoGen, and is the primary research university partner in the Philadelphia Navy Yard microgrid project and associated GridSTAR education center. Industry experts and organizations such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association will provide input and guidance.

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  • Penn State

    New microgrid guide to assist ‘hybrid’ fossil fuel and renewable energy systems

    PHILADELPHIA — Penn State’s Department of Architectural Engineering has announced the release of an introductory guide for those in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who are interested in conceiving, developing and financing ‘hybrid’ fossil fuel and renewable energy systems. The guide, titled “CHP-Enabled Renewable Energy in Microgrids in Pennsylvania: A Guidance Document for Conceiving Feasible Systems," is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), under the State Energy Program through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. These systems can provide on-site, natural-gas-fueled electric and thermal (e.g. hot water or steam) energy generation (combined heat and power — CHP) in combination with renewable energy resources such as solar photovoltaic arrays and battery storage systems. Such systems provide an economically and environmentally attractive means to utilize Marcellus shale gas in combination with renewable energy resources to promote economic growth, with higher efficiency and lower emissions than conventional systems. The target audience for such systems is owners of commercial and industrial buildings and properties with well-defined thermal loads, including retirement communities, multi-family buildings, hospitals, food processors and any large users of steam or hot water; commercial, institutional and industrial parks and campuses; and municipalities and rural co-op organizations.

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  • Energy Storage Networks

    Consulting firm ProtoGen offers financial advisory spreadsheet tool for solar+storage

    ProtoGen initially developed HybridFAST to help its clients better understand the financial impacts and opportunities of their grid-interactive solar + storage projects. The tool models both energy-flows and cash-flows and is capable of simulating a wide range of system architectures, operational modes and market conditions. It contains no macros or hidden fields, and all calculations can easily be reverse-engineered, inspected, and modified for any purpose.

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