PowerForward is the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s (PUCO) review of the latest in technological and regulatory innovation that could serve to enhance the consumer electricity experience. Through this series, we intend to chart a clear path forward for future grid modernization projects, innovative regulations and forward-thinking policies.
On July 27, Roger Wilkens, leader of the Appalachian Renewable Energy Consumers’ Co-op, the Athens Energy Institute, and Athens’ Pilot Microgrid Project, (start at 53:00 from link) spoke to PUCO Commissioners about the advent of consumer storage technologies and the need for a regulatory “green light” for consumers to know how they can provide necessary energy produced on their property for not only their own use but for uses that provide a service to the electric grid as a whole.
Rural homes in Ohio tend to be grouped together in small clusters, often next to adjacent property with room for a shared solar array. Some members of the Currents intentional community in Glouster, Ohio noticed this opportunity after realizing their own home’s roofs were not suitable for solar. However, combined together in a shared system and acting as a very small microgrid (nanogrid), residents have created an emerging learning community where rural Ohioans are sharing experiences about advanced energy applications right at home.
A dedication to the Currents Community Nanogrid will be on August 26, 2017 at the Currents Community Annual Shindig – 13177 Concord Church Road, Glouster, OH 45732.
“The PUCO’s Grid Modernization program may well be the most important thing happening in Ohio this year. Transforming the energy sector to incorporate Distributed Energy Resources, especially residential solar, is crucial for our economy,” says Roger Wilkens, “Athens County is a center of community energy activities worthy of being shared. I was very gratified to have had the opportunity to provide a glimpse… [our efforts] to create a more cooperative energy future.