Earth911 Podcast: Brevian Energy’s Rod Matthews on the Changing Economics of Microgrids
Renewable energy will reconfigure the nation’s electricity infrastructure, a relic from an era of centralized power generation when coal, gas, hydroelectric, and nuclear generation created massive amounts of power in one location for distribution across thousands of square miles. These times call for a different approach to electricity distribution, which mixes national and regional grids with local generation and a new concept, the microgrid. These local generation and storage systems may be connected to or operate independently from the regional electric grid. Rod Matthews, co-founder and CEO of Brevian Energy, a renewable energy technology company based in Vista, California, joins the conversation to discuss microgrids for business. While the decision to electrify still makes eminent sense, the incentives for business adoption of solar, wind, and microgrids are changing. California’s net metering 3 decision will reduce prices paid to individuals and businesses that sell their excess energy back to the grid.
A microgrid can be as small as a single business or home and offers a different relationship with electricity, freeing the owner from the arbitrary price increases imposed by remote electricity generation providers. As we embed solar generation into our built environment, vehicles, appliances, and gadgets in offices and homes, we may enter a glut condition when moving power where it is needed remains challenging. As the nature and placement of electric generation evolve, understanding microgrids’ role in power distribution and economics will be useful to businesses and homeowners. Just as the net was initially engineered to survive a nuclear war, we can re-engineer the power grid to provide reliable power in an era when six- and seven-hour blackouts due to a single fuse failing or extreme heat causes a utility to turn off transmission lines have become, if not every day, increasingly familiar inconveniences. You can learn more about Brevian Energy at brevianenergy.com.