The Electric Current Blog

Microgrids – An Emerging Market

mockBy Michael Mock

The United States’ electrical grid is fragile. Recent disruptions in power supply, especially due to Hurricane Sandy, are stark reminders that a grid failure is devastating to a society that is increasingly dependent on a steady, uninterrupted flow of electricity. Both the public and private sectors recognize that the grid is increasingly vulnerable to a variety of threats – natural and man-made – and both are looking to alternative energy sources, including microgrids.

Microgrids, on-site generators of electricity, comprise a variety of technologies including photovoltaic, combined heat and power, and wind turbines. While the technologies are diverse, they share several common objectives that are especially important for building owners, including assuring a continuous and reliable source of power to key systems during a power outage and reducing utility bills by shedding load during peak demand times, when the cost of power from the grid is very expensive.

DC Fast Charging Stations are Full Speed Ahead in Washington, D.C.

Electrical Alliance contractor installs first DC Fast Charger on East Coast

DC Fast Charging Stations are bringing more convenience to electric car owners in the Washington, D.C. area thanks to an Electrical Alliance contractor.

ABM Electrical Power Solutions (ABM) is working with eVgo to install DC Fast Charging Stations throughout metropolitan Washington, D.C. DC Fast Chargers add about 50 to 60 miles of range to an electric vehicle in approximately 20 minutes. This is much faster than standard chargers. For normal charging (3 kW), it can take six to eight hours to fully charge. With a Level 2 240-Volt charging station, it can add about 20-30 miles of range in one hour. The company is the only electrical contractor in the area performing this type of installation and was the first to install a DC Fast Charger on the East Coast.

Energy Efficiency is an Important Aspect in Upcoming Washington, D.C. Construction Projects

mockBy Michael Mock

The greater Washington, D.C. area will continue to see the construction of major mass transit projects. This means related construction opportunities to retrofit existing buildings and construct new ones in areas surrounding the projects, and a need for sustainable building practices.

With transit projects such as the $1.2 billion, five-year next phase of the Metro Silver line, the District’s $1.2 billion, 22-mile streetcar line, and Prince George’s County Metro Red line and Marc Train stations, there will be plenty of construction activity. Building developers and owners will require energy efficient and mixed-use components to be built in mid- to high-rise buildings.

Maryland Governor Visits High-Tech High School to Promote Education Initiatives

JATC donated and installed photovoltaic (PV) system at high school to provide solar energy to the school and serve as an educational tool

The Electrical Alliance has tapped into its electrical expertise to support Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s education initiatives.

The Washington, D.C. Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) donated and installed a PV system at North Point High School in Waldorf, Md. Gov. O’Malley recently visited North Point to promote two education initiatives he proposed in this year’s budget, seeking a high-tech future of education and career readiness.

As the Need for the Fifth Fuel Increases, Electrical Alliance Contractors are Prepared to Meet the Mandate

mockBy Michael Mock

As local, state and federal governments mandate increased energy efficiency, Washington, D.C. Electrical Alliance contractors are prepared to meet the demand for the “Fifth Fuel.”

Energy efficiency, often referred to as the “Fifth Fuel,” has joined the four traditional sources used to produce electricity in the United States: coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables. Maximizing energy efficiency is a major consideration for building designers and owners as they evaluate plans for new projects and project retrofits, and as the government mandates increased energy efficiency.