DC Systems Blog

Small Sonoma Winery Wins Big Environmental Award

January 19th, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Dan Gustafson, 707.363.0963, dangustafson@me.com

Small Sonoma Winery Wins Big Environmental Award

High-end Cab producer’s MicroGrid garners Governor’s honor


Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards and Winery has received California’s highest environmental honor, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA).


The small, highly acclaimed Sonoma producer of first-growth Bordeaux-style Cabernet Sauvignon was recognized for “Sustainable Practices, Communities or Facilities,” one of five categories of the annual award administered by the California Environmental Protection Agency and presented in Sacramento.


Click on the map above for an interactive tour of this project.

The GEELA program honors individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions in conserving California’s precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the state’s economy.


“This year’s GEELA recipients are demonstrating exceptional leadership in addressing some of our most significant environmental challenges,” said Matthew Rodriguez, the state’s Secretary for Environmental Protection. “Whether it’s fighting climate change, conserving our water supplies or reducing waste, they inspire us with their creative and collaborative approaches. Their success expands our view of what is possible. Collectively, they are proving that healthy environment is inextricably linked with a vibrant economy.”


Stone Edge Farm is the 16-acre residence of Mac and Leslie McQuown. The farm produces organically grown wine grapes, over 100 varieties of heirloom vegetables, fruit, olives, herbs, flowers, eggs, and honey. Two other organic estate vineyards, Silver Cloud and Mt. Pisgah, contribute fruit from the hillsides of the Mayacamas Mountains to the winery’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon and “Surround,” a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for early drinkability.


Stone Edge is also a self-proclaimed “demonstration farm for what is possible,” at the cutting edge of soil, water, air and energy conservation. Cover crops and extensive composting ensure soil and plant health, and monitoring technologies have cut water use in half, but the most dramatic results in air and energy conservation have come from the Stone Edge Farm MicroGrid (SEFMG).


To demonstrate how far below zero carbon emissions the farm could go, and to establish clean, economical energy independence, over the past four years the McQuowns and Wooster Engineering developed the MicroGrid. This open source project stores electricity from solar panels in seven different battery technologies as well as in the form of hydrogen gas. The hydrogen is stored until needed, either to make electricity in fuel cell hives or to power fuel cell cars. The marginal cost of the hydrogen is zero, and the by-product of its use is pure water.


“When the farm underwent a precautionary evacuation during the October 2017 wildfires in Sonoma, the MicroGrid “islanded,” or ran independently from the utility grid,” according to Craig Wooster, SEFMG project manager and general contractor. “So the farm continued to operate smoothly, including powering irrigation pumps, while surrounded by power outages for over a week, monitored from afar by cell phone.”


Wooster accepted the GEELA award along with five interns currently working on the SEFMG. Since the project’s inception, 55 paid interns from a wide array of colleges and universities have participated in its development.


Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards and Winery is a partnership begun in 2004 by Mac McQuown with Phil Coturri, pioneer organic viticulturist, and Jeff Baker, veteran winemaker previously at Mayacamas and Carmenet Wineries.


McQuown led a team, including five future Nobel laureates in economics, who created the first stock index fund in 1970, and he is co-founder of six highly successful financial service companies. A lifelong fine wine collector, McQuown also co-founded the Chalone Wine Group in 1970 and Carmenet Winery (now Repris) in 1980.


A widely known environmentalist and philanthropist, McQuown sits on advisory councils of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, the UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Esalen Institute’s “Track Two,” an Institute for Citizen Diplomacy. 

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Visit Stone Edge Farms Microgrid Project: http://sefmicrogrid.com/

Come visit us in booth #3013 at DistribuTECH 2018 – Jan 23-25 in San Antonio, TX!

November 20th, 2017

We’re happy to extend a free tradeshow floor pass to get you in the door! Contact us to schedule a meeting!

Meet us at the Microgrid 2017 Conference! Nov 6-8 Boston, MA

October 26th, 2017

Join us in Boston and meet Matt Koenig, DC Systems Sales Director! For more information about Microgrid 2017, or to schedule a meeting, visit our Press + Events

Visit us at ESNA 2015 – Learn about our new projects and features for our Real-Time Distributed Control System (RT|DECS) software, used for PG&E’s award-nominated energy storage project

October 9th, 2015

Innovation Award3

Visit us at ESNA this year in San Diego, October 13-15, to learn about our latest enhancements to RT|DECS and all our solutions for utilities, power producers, and MicroGrids.

We’ve expanded our suite of utility-grade software solutions for grid-level, vendor-agnostic control of distributed energy resources (DER) and energy storage. While early versions of our software let utilities manage a single resource as multiple Virtual Power Plants, we’ve added many new features and control modes for our latest Real-Time Distributed Energy Control System (RT|DECS), to manage control across diverse portfolios of DER & storage and to interface with utility and market systems.

Our RT|DECS software has an important role in PG&E’s Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) projects – managing grid-level controls and interfacing with equipment vendors’ control systems and market award dispatch systems. A highlight of ESNA tours the past two years, PG&E’s Yerba Buena 4 MW Battery Project is nominated for ESNA’s 2015 Innovation Award for Centralized Storage. The project provides many benefits at both the distribution and bulk power level and demonstrates several industry use cases. PG&E’s Vaca-Dixon 2 MW system, also part of the industry collaboration project using our RT|DECS control software, was the first and currently is the only resource to participate in California’s CAISO new Non-Generator Resource energy and frequency regulation markets. See www.esnaexpo.com/awards/2015-finalists.

We partner with all kinds of industry players that can use our software and expertise in control systems. We play a key role in DER, energy storage, and cyber-security research projects with NREL, PNNL, and a microgrid collaboration project at Stone Edge Farm in Sonoma, Ca. We’ve been a trusted provider to utilities, power producers, and large energy users since 1990, with solutions for substation and control center SCADA, substation and distribution automation applications, real-time communication gateways, and more. We’re experts in CAISO NRI telemetry, metering and controls, and we provide our own CAISO-certified RIG provider.

Our software solutions are complementary to virtually all players in this ecosystem, so talk with us!

We’re a gold sponsor for ESNA, in Booth 120 by the open networking area. Our CEO speaks on the expo stage on Wednesday at 10:45 and in the conference session “Resource Aggregation” on Thursday at 11:30.  Contact us to schedule a meeting. See you in sunny San Diego!

Learn how DC Systems enables energy storage adoption and integration at scale at Energy Storage North America!

September 24th, 2014



ESNA LogoFor the second year in a row, DC Systems will head south for the Energy Storage North America conference in San Jose, CA.

Like last year, participants on ESNA’s energy storage site tours will be able to see DC Systems’ RT|Stored Energy Control System live in action at the PG&E Yerba Buena Battery Energy Storage Pilot Project.

This year visitors can also visit us at Booth 215 to demo our software in person and learn why distributed generation projects from PG&E’s storage pilot to the Tehachapi Wind Energy Storage Project rely on DC Systems for mission-critical site communication and controls.

When: October 1st and 2nd, 2014

3 Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your CAISO Remote Intelligent Gateway

August 21st, 2014

If you are a conventional power plant larger than 20 MW or a renewable generator larger than 1.5 MW and you connect to the California ISO-managed grid (the yellow region on the map below), chances are you communicate with the ISO over a small ruggedized computer called a Remote Intelligent Gateway (RIG). Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping up with CAISO – What We Learned at the CAISO Resource Interconnection Fair

March 7th, 2014

CAISO circle

Last week DC Systems traveled to Folsom, CA to attend CAISO’s first Resource Interconnection Fair. The event was well-attended and the constant flow of questions from the audience confirmed what we, as providers of one part of the interconnection solution, already knew: especially for first time inter-connectors, but even for companies who have been through the process many times, the CAISO interconnection process is viewed as something of a black hole and can be quite daunting. Read the rest of this entry »

Ivanpah goes online: World’s largest solar thermal plant connects to grid through DC Systems RIG

February 14th, 2014

The world’s largest solar thermal plant went online today and is connected to the grid by a DC Systems RT|Remote Intelligent Gateway (RT|RIG). Located in the Mojave Desert, the 392 MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System reflects sunlight to heat water in boilers atop 459-foot towers, creating steam to drive turbines and generate electricity. Located near the border of California and Nevada, Ivanpah feeds power to Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison and is owned by NRG Energy, BrightSource Energy, and Google. Read the rest of this entry »

Hitting the Road for San Antonio

January 24th, 2014

The glossies are printed. The booth is packed. Invitations are sent. Reservations made.
Now it comes down to what the show is about – an opportunity to meet and learn and share ideas. Our industry is turning a corner, from learning how to do a lot of really smart things to figuring out how to do them at scale, across our entire grid, as cost effectively as possible. We are excited to be part of it and contribute our piece of the puzzle. Please check out the exciting things we have in store.

See you in San Antonio!

Smart Grid News – What can we really expect from distribution automation?

January 21st, 2014

Guest authored, along with other industry professionals, in SmartGridNews.com

David Meyers, VP of sales for DC Systems, has this to say: “Distributed intelligence at the grid edge may or may not need to piggyback on AMI networks presents the most exciting opportunities for making the grid smarter. Automated Sectionalizing and Restoration (ASR), implemented at the substation level, using existing data and control points, is one example, Var/Volt control is another. Similarly, rather than pushing petabytes of data over these networks, distributed intelligence applications can mine real-time data in the field and pass back key information to control rooms.”

Read the full article here