Learning Center

Energy is a complex topic. Check out these free, open-source tools and resources to help you get smart. Learn about energy project planning, transition planning, microgrids, distributed energy resources and more.


The Electrical Contractor's Practical Guide to Microgrid Development

We developed this 87-page guidebook under a research grant funded by ELECTRI International. The guidebook allows readers navigate the project development lifecycle from concept through operations and maintenance, and to dive deeper where needed on complex topics such as business drivers, technologies, and applications. Note: The whitepaper is availabe by visiting ELECTRI.org.

  • Part I is a step-by-step guide to the microgrid project development lifecycle. Five phases are considered: identifying projects, feasibility, planning, implementation, and O&M. Each phase is built out with checklists, task descriptions, a description of the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to execute that phase. Also provided are key tips, recommendations, and strategies for success.

  • Part II is a microgrid primer that serves as a companion reference to Part I. Microgrids are conceptually defined according to their features, types, variations, markets, and business drivers. Key microgrid technologies are defined and described including load management, power generation, energy storage, control systems, communications, cybersecurity, and supporting infrastructure.

  • Part III is a cloud-hosted appendix of curated additional resources. This includes forms, references, case studies, and other materials around microgrid project development, technologies, markets, regulations, standards, and more.

Real Talk: Energy Transition Planning Terms

Get smart about the energy transition! This page covers 104 regulatory, economic, and technical topics related to energy transition planning. A definition is provided for each along as well as pros and cons. A “Real Talk” section places each within the context of energy transition planning.

Real Talk: Energy Transition Planning Flash Cards

Our Real Talk: Energy Transition Planning Terms, offered as a free digital download or printed on a set of high-quality flash cards. Perfect for self-study, group-study, or as a discussion starter.



HybridFAST (Financial Analysis Spreadsheet Tool) is perfect for facilitating conversations around the financial implications of grid-interactive photovoltaic (PV) systems, battery energy storage systems (BESS), and hybrid systems utilizing both.


RE-Mixer (the Renewable Energy Mix tool) is an Excel-based tool for mapping the renewable energy transition at grid scale. The tool allows planners and lay people alike to think more deeply about the implications of the energy transition.