MRC launches new chapter to advance microgrids in Texas

The Microgrid Resources Coalition (MRC) announced the launch of a Texas Chapter focusing on legislative and regulatory engagement to advance microgrid adoption throughout Texas.

Texas has suffered several severe winter storms over the past few years. The power crisis in 2021 attributed to Winter Storm Uri brought out the necessity and urgency for reliable power resiliency plans to address power issues in Texas under extreme weather.

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"In forming the MRC Texas Chapter, we aim to give a unified voice to the microgrid industry throughout Texas, with the goal of building community resilience and supporting business continuity so something of that nature never happens again," said Pierson Stoecklein, Executive Director of the MRC.

A modern microgrid integrates solar technologies and energy storage as part of its generation mix. It is a local energy grid with capabilities that can operate with the traditional grid as well as disconnect from it and operate autonomously. These capabilities allow for resilient and flexible electricity generation when the traditional grid is out of service.

The Texas Chapter also anticipates the filing of multiple bills this session that are favorable to the continued deployment of microgrids.

Notable, Senate Bill 330 (SB 330), which was authored by Senator Bob Hall, proposes to establish the "Texas Electric Grid Security Commission." The Commission will be responsible for evaluating the vulnerabilities to the power grid and critical infrastructure and developing standards that will mitigate related threats.

Currently, in Texas, microgrids are being used by small communities and some military installations. In each case, the use of the microgrid provides those consumers additional resiliency against grid failures. As renewables increasingly add vulnerabilities to our grid, microgrids can offer increased reliability and resiliency.

—said Senator Hall.

Senate Bill 330 states that "microgrid owners/operators that meet certain requirements would be considered a power generation company and would be entitled to connect with the grid and to sell electricity at wholesale." The clarification is regarded as a crucial step in making the power grid more reliable and providing a way for entities and citizens to contribute to and enjoy the enhanced resilience of the power supply in Texas.

Founded in 2013, the MRC is a consortium of leading microgrid owners, operators, developers, suppliers and investors seeking to promote microgrids as reliable energy resources. 

As the largest builder of Tier 1 microgids in North America and a MRC member, Schneider Electric will help lead the Texas Chapter.

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