Lessons from Island Microgrid Projects: Rocky Mountain Institute at HIMC2017

Island microgrids — independent from the traditional grid by nature — provide important insights for other off-grid energy projects around the world. Sharing their extensive experience and expertise at the upcoming HOMER International Microgrid Conference  (HIMC2017)  are two island microgrid experts from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). Kaitlyn Bunker, Ph.D, and Owen Lewis will lead a session titled “Developing Island Microgrids in the Caribbean,” a topic that resonates deeply with the conference theme: “Microgrid Lessons from Global Markets.”

Bunker and Lewis’s presentation will be particularly relevant given RMI’s involvement in island microgrid projects, including this St. Lucia project in this Homer Case Study. They will draw from RMI’s experiences with a Solar-Diesel Hybrid microgrid in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and a Solar-Storage-Geothermal system in Montserrat. This presentation will examine how island utilities can plan for microgrid systems, and will also expand on the best practice in feasibility, developmental, and economic modeling stages of island microgrid projects.

RMI’s Experts on Island Microgrids

As a Senior Associate at RMI, Bunker leads energy modeling and technical analysis to complete integrated resource plans in partnership with Caribbean island utilities and governments, which are a key piece of developing national energy transition strategies. These plans take a whole-systems view of various options for the future of the electricity sector on each island. She also leads modeling efforts related to small island microgrid opportunities and was a 2010 recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Owen serves as operations manager with RMI’s Islands Energy Program. From 2009 to 2016, he served as the Government of Montserrat’s project director. Owen was a member of the small local team working with RMI that delivered the Montserrat National Energy Policy, the Energy Strategy, the Sustainable Energy Plan-Initial Program of Action, and the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the Sustainable Energy Plan-Initial Program of Action 2016–2020.

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)  is an independent, nonpartisan nonprofit. RMI collaborates with diverse partners—business, government, academic, nonprofit, philanthropic, and military to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables, helping nations to develop sustainably.