Laying the foundation for a resilient electric grid - Clean Coalition

Laying the foundation for a resilient electric grid

Distributed, renewable generation will result in a far more efficient and reliable electrical system.

Craig Lewis

The electric system serves as a vital lifeline, providing the power needed for nearly every aspect of modern life. Yet the system itself is far from modern – it relies on old, centralized, fossil-fuel-burning power stations and inefficient transmission over long distances on an antiquated grid. Hurricane Sandy illustrated the brittleness of the current system, leaving 8.5 million homes and businesses in 16 states without power.

The Clean Coalition’s Distributed Generation + Intelligent Grid (DG+IG) Initiative is laying a timely foundation to transition towards a more resilient electrical power grid. Distributed, renewable generation – integrated with intelligent grid solutions – will result in a far more efficient and reliable electrical system. Local energy production will mitigate the impact of any single power station or transmission line failure. Intelligent grid solutions – such as demand response, advanced inverters, and energy storage – will significantly increase grid reliability by enabling local balancing of supply and demand for energy. Ultimately, the combination of DG+IG will allow for the creation of micro-grids that can function as standalone energy “islands” to provide continuous power for essential services during widespread grid failures.

DG+IG Vision

Through the DG+IG Initiative, the Clean Coalition is working with forward-thinking utilities – such as Long Island Power Authority – to develop five DG+IG demonstration projects. Each demonstration project willprove that local renewables connected to the distribution grid can provide at least 25% of the total electric energy consumed within the distribution grid, while maintaining or improving grid reliability. These demonstration projects, which will highlight the technical and financial feasibility of high penetrations of DG, serve as models for modernizing America’s electrical system in the most intelligent manner possible.

Craig Lewis

Founder and Executive Director

Craig founded the Clean Coalition in 2009 and has over 30 years of experience in policy and technology innovation, including the proliferation of Solar Microgrids and Community Microgrids. Prior to founding the Clean Coalition, Craig held numerous positions in the wireless, semiconductor, banking, and renewable energy industries. Previously VP of Government Relations at GreenVolts, he was the first to successfully navigate a solar project through California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard solicitation process. Craig was energy policy lead on Steve Westly’s 2006 California gubernatorial campaign. His resume includes senior government relations, corporate development, and marketing positions at leading wireless, semiconductor, and banking companies such as Qualcomm, Ericsson, and Barclays Bank. Craig received an MBA and MSEE from the University of Southern California and a BSEE from the University of California, Berkeley.