This week's episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast features a compelling conversation on how microgrids can provide not only electric reliability in the Caribbean, but also provide a boost towards the affordable housing shortage. Tom McGeehan, VP at E-Finity Distributed Generation, joined podcast host Jason Price and producer Matt Chester to highlight the unique opportunities this technology offered, stretching outside the typical role of power providers.
Tom shares how his team has sought to respond to the recent hurricane seasons and resulting outages with a more decentralized approach, highlighting the opportunity microgrid technology can play for the wider energy sector outside of the islands, while also confronting head-on the climate challenges that are already present on the Virgin Islands and will soon spread to other parts of the world. Tom describes the background of this unique project:
A few years ago, we were approached by a development company called Jackson Development, and they were partnering with the USVI Housing Authority to develop affordable housing projects in St. Thomas. They were looking to have a more reliable form of electricity for their project, and they also wanted to offer the tenants more affordable power. So they didn't want them to be paying 40 to 45 cents per kilowatt hour... We worked to design a microgrid that incorporates 455 kW of capstone microturbines, 150 kW of solar PV, 450 kW of diesel generator and a one megawatt battery energy storage system that was supplied by Hitachi Energy. This microgrid is totally independent of the local utility grid. We also capture the exhaust heat off of the microturbines to make 100% of the building's hot water in a combined heat and power application... The system is hurricane hardened and designed to run through another storm like Irma. It's also a win-win for the tenants because they don't have to worry about losing power on a weekly basis. They're also able to buy power for less than what the local utility would be charging them.
This entry into the podcast, like all of the series episodes, can be found on all major podcast outlets, including iTunes and Spotify, or it can be listened to directly on the Energy Central platform. Give it a listen and share your reaction in the comments.
Episode #63: 'Equitable Energy Access And Microgrids For Island Nations' With Tom McGeehan Of E-Finity [an Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast]
About Energy Central Podcast Series:
The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ features conversations with thought leaders in the utility sector. At least twice monthly, we connect with an Energy Central Power Industry Network community member to discuss compelling topics that impact professionals who work in the power industry. Some podcasts may be a continuation of thought-provoking posts or discussions started in the community or with an industry leader that is interested in sharing their expertise and doing a deeper dive into hot topics or issues relevant to the industry.
The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ is the premiere podcast series from Energy Central, a Power Industry Network of Communities built specifically for professionals in the electric power industry and a place where professionals can share, learn, and connect in a collaborative environment. Supported by leading industry organizations, our mission is to help global power industry professionals work better. Since 1995, we’ve been a trusted news and information source for professionals working in the power industry, and today our managed communities are a place for lively discussions, debates, and analysis to take place. If you’re not yet a member, visit www.EnergyCentral.com to register for free and join over 200,000 of your peers working in the power industry.
The Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast is hosted by Jason Price, Community Ambassador of Energy Central. Jason is a Business Development Executive at West Monroe, working in the East Coast Energy and Utilities Group. Jason is joined in the podcast booth by the producer of the podcast, Matt Chester, who is also the Community Manager of Energy Central and energy analyst/independent consultant in energy policy, markets, and technology.
If you want to be a guest on a future episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast, let us know! We'll be pulling guests from our community members who submit engaging content that gets our community talking, and perhaps that next guest will be you! Likewise, if you see an article submitted by a fellow Energy Central community member that you'd like to hear about in more detail, feel free to send us a note to nominate them. To contact us, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Podcast interviews are free for Expert Members and professionals who work for a utility. We have package offers available for solution providers and vendors.