New Tech Expands Distributed Generation’s Role in Greening the Grid (Part 2)

In Part 1, we looked at how industrial-scale distributed generating plants (typically hundreds of kilowatts to tens of megawatts), powered by renewable energy, are playing an important role in creating a new generation of more resilient, more sustainable power grids. We also saw that, regardless whether they make power from the sun’s distant rays or a nearby city’s sewage sludge, they’re still subject to the same technical requirements for regulating, conditioning, and distributing their output through the power grid as their larger fossil-fueled counterparts.

Fig 1 Opener Ieso Der Graphic

Source: Independent Electricity System Operators (IESO)

Here, we’ll take a closer look at how the equipment used in distributed generation systems must evolve to meet the industry’s changing requirements. While still undergoing some growing pains, distributed generation technologies are technically mature and well-defined enough whereby major utility operators, such as the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and CPS Energy, have developed extensive standards that define

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How the ’90s family computer shaped a generation’s exposure to PC gaming

In 2009, as a young journalist, I got the opportunity to interview KISS bassist Gene Simmons. As I fretted over my questions ahead of the interview I dug out a yellowing paperback of Berke Breathed’s comic Bloom County that had once belonged to my dad. In the world of Bloom County there’s a fictional computer called the Banana Jr. 6000—a cheeky dig at Apple—and a glorious fake ad in which a cartoon Simmons gives it his full-tongued endorsement. When my interview was over, I timidly asked him to autograph my comic.

Simmons, wearing an unforgettable pair of lurid snakeskin boots, was tickled. “Of course I know about Bloom County,” he smiled while signing the page. “Of course.”

The home computer was a novelty, and an object of extravagance

Most of Bloom County has nothing to do with computers, but it was part of my early introduction to technology through

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