California microgrid

In the US smart energy market, California microgrid software company CleanSpark has acquired San Diego-based Specialized Energy Solutions (SES).In a buyout announced last week, the consolidation will put CleanSpark in a stronger position to tap into the US microgrid infrastructure market, which is projected to grow nearly 300% over the next five years.

SES specializes in the engineering and construction of clean energy technologies.

The company has fulfilled contracts with the US Department of Defense including a 4MW ground-mounted distributed solar project in the City of Colton, with plans for additional projects in California next year.

CleanSpark, which is also based in San Diego, produces plug-and-play solutions.

The Flex Power System is a software and control platform that combines situational awareness, energy efficiency, renewable energy integration, advanced energy storage, and load management.

The tech company claims that the technology reduces energy costs by 25%, and increases energy security in defense, commercial, municipal, educational, and industrial sectors.

It can also be applied to rural and island electrification needs.

California microgrid funding

The state of California is gearing up investment into microgrids as part of its drive to meet a 33% renewable energy power generation target by 2020.

Earlier this month the California Energy Commission announced it is offering a US$11.7 million grant for research and development (R&D) into smart grid technology.

According to local media, the grant will cover R&D in smart grid operation and management practices, distribution automation and bi-directional distribution equipment, and technology to increase grid reliability and shorten grid downtime.

Microgrid Knowledge reported that bids for the grant are opened to entities and individuals except publicly owned utilities until 15 January, 2016.

The commission has earmarked US$2.5 million for R&D in distribution automation while US$4.5 million will cover microgrid controls from June 30, 2016 to March 29, 2019.

California renewable energy - white paper

The California Public Utilities Commission also released a white paper last month outlining how the state could go beyond the 33% target to achieve 50% clean power generation.

The report predicts increased the assimilation of wind and solar resources onto the grid, and changes to customer load due to increased rooftop solar installations and connected vehicles, will allow California to reach and go beyond its 33% renewable energy target by 2020.