Microgrids and Electric Vehicles: Q3 Networking Event Recap

Microgrids and Electric Vehicles: Q3 Networking Event Recap

Microgrids and Electric Vehicles: A Match Made in Heaven

Last week our team at ProspectSV executed the Q3 networking event that focused on the importance of microgrids and their relationship with electric vehicles. With speakers from public, private, regulatory and research sectors, the conversation engaged diverse perspectives on this topical subject. Moderated by Noah Goldstein, Research Director of Energy at Navigant, the panel honed in on what aspects of EV technology can be integrated into microgrids. The advancement of microgrids is necessary to solve grid load challenges, be prepared for emergencies, and provide alternative solutions for energy resources.

In the wake of natural disasters like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the wildfires in Northern California, microgrids are needed now, more than ever before, to ensure that populations will have the energy resources they need to meet basic human needs for health and safety. One local example of that is the Valley Transportation Authority’s fleet electrification upgrades that, in case of an emergency, will need a way to be charged and maintained if power to the grid fails. Gary Miskell, Chief Information Officer at VTA mentioned that, “in an emergency, we need to figure out a way to keep EVs going to move people.” VTA is actively creating solutions to address fleet charging and is currently partnering with Kisensum to build advanced integration software.

The mystique of microgrids also comes from their highly-customized nature. As David Rubin, Director of Transportation Services at PG&E, said, “When you’ve seen one microgrid, you’ve seen one microgrid.” A microgrid installation can be virtually anywhere to meet the specific energy needs of a customer or region. This doesn’t come without a cost though, as “islanding” microgrids (microgrids that can operate while disconnected from the electrical grid) need additional capital and investment so they can operate.

Microgrids can also accommodate electric vehicles to reduce utility imposed demand charges incurred while recharging. Energy providers have to consider when peak demand is at its highest (right after sunset, which represents the upslope on the duck curve) and find a way to alleviate some of that demand. ProspectSV’s Energy expert, Tim Minezaki notes that, “the groundwork we’re laying with microgrids now will allow an EV or permanent batteries to shift energy demand away from the grid peak, allowing higher utilization of renewable energy and allowing us to reduce our fossil fuel consumption.”

Overall the event was a success where start-ups, public sector organizations, private sector companies, utilities, research institutes and investors were able to mingle and exchange ideas on this trending subject. Special thanks to Navigant for organizing the panel, and to our panel participants from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, PG&E, and CAISO. We hope to see you at our Q4 networking event on November 29th at Continental in San Jose!

Speaker Bios:

Noah Goldstein, Research Director of Energy, Navigant
Dr. Noah Goldstein, PhD, LEED AP, is a director within Navigant’s Energy practice, with an emphasis on cleantech and building technologies innovation in the market. He focuses on strategic engagement in topics of energy efficiency, building energy management, and applied sustainability. As the director of building research at Navigant, he has led research on Zero Energy Buildings, Energy Management Systems in Commercial Buildings, and corporate strategy.

Gary Miskell, Chief Information Officer, VTA
Mr. Miskell joined Santa Clare Valley Transportation Authority VTA in 2007 and responsible for managing VTA’s Information systems which includes all business applications, Infrastructure, RF Communication, security and intelligent transit systems. Mr. Miskell also spearheads VTA’s innovative technology strategy supporting the Smart Transportation, Smart City and Internet of Things IoT. A graduate of Texas Tech University (B.S., Engineering, 1979) Mr. Miskell has held a number of different Information system & division management executive positions at Solectron Technology before joining VTA.

Peter Klauer, Senior Advisor, Smart Grid Technology, California Independent System Operator
Peter Klauer is a Senior Advisor, Smart Grid Technology, at the California Independent System Operator Corporation in Folsom California. The California ISO provides open and non-discriminatory access to over 80% of the state’s wholesale electricity transmission grid, supported by a competitive energy market and comprehensive infrastructure planning effort. Peter is responsible for supporting smart grid research and facilitating the integration of emerging smart grid technologies into the ISO’s wholesale energy markets and operational systems.  Peter acts in an advisory role on technical programs and research initiatives, including, the California Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge, local and national laboratory research initiatives and smart grid grant proposals, and California Investor Owned Utility demonstration projects with the ISO.  Peter also supports state energy policy development in emerging renewable and smart grid technology areas within the California Public Utilities Commission’s Energy Division.

David Rubin, Director of Service Analysis, PG&E
David Rubin is presently the Director of Service Analysis at Pacific Gas and Electric Company in San Francisco, where he has responsibility for community partnership strategies. From 1982-1985, David was responsible for energy efficiency, cogeneration and district heating with the City and County of San Francisco. He joined PG&E in 1985, and spent seven years in the marketing and rates areas. He left PG&E in 1992 to join the International Energy Agency in Paris, France. While at the IEA, he had responsibility for electricity restructuring, energy efficiency and demand side management, and participated in a number of energy sector studies throughout Europe and the former Soviet Union.

He returned to PG&E in 1995, and assumed his current job responsibilities in 1997. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Science degree in Technology and Policy from MIT. David is a registered mechanical engineer in California.

Pictured: Ruth Cox, Noah Goldstein, Gary Miskell, David Rubin, Peter Klauer
Photo by Christian Hosler

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