briefoverview

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

Historically, central plants have been an integral part of the electric grid, in which large generating facilities are specifically located either close to fuel resources or otherwise located far from populated load centers [1]. These, in turn, supply the traditional transmission and distribution (T&D) grid that distributes bulk power to load centers and from there to end consumers.

These economies of scale began to fail in the late 1960s and, by the start of the 21st century, central plants could arguably no longer deliver competitively cheap and reliable electricity to more remote customers through the grid. Thus, the grid had become the main driver of remote customers’ power costs and power quality problems, which became more acute as digital equipment required extremely reliable electricity. Efficiency gains no longer come from increasing engineering complexity of large generators, but now from large scale mass production of smaller units located near sites of demand.

 

 

whatare

WHAT ARE MICROGRIDS?

Microgrids can be constructed of a combination of resources [2], both loads and generations assets combined into a system which best meets the end consumers usage. Microgrids can also be of any size from kilowatts to megawatts, but usually have two defining characteristics, local control and full functionality both on and off grid.

Local control means the end consumer is empowered to operate the system to their best needs. You are no longer inseparable from the power quality and costs of a sole utility provider. You now have options to leverage differing costs of raw fuels and renewables to reduce your costs, green your business, and reduce your emissions as you see fit.

Full functionality both on and off grid also allows you to separate from the macrogrid during times of outage, if hazardous weather is expected, or if it makes good financial sense to operate standalone.This may also allow for the reduction or complete removal of standard backup power solutions like UPS’s as your entire facility is now backed up inherently. This means no lost costs or down time associated with a utility outage. Ultimate Reliability.

 

 

 

References

  1. “Distributed Generation—Overview”.  Wikipedia. Retrieved 26 October, 2015.
  2. About Microgrids“.  Microgrids at Berkeley Lab. Retrieved 25 October, 2015.

Microgrids in the News

Microgrid Knowledge

microgrid news, products, policy and players

microgrid O&MWith more microgrids comes the need for more microgrid O&M services. Navigant Research's Peter Asmus describes the growing market opportunity for these services.
Author: Guest Post
Posted: March 27, 2017, 3:34 pm
Microgrid KnowledgeElisa Wood, editor-in-chief of Microgrid Knowledge, will lead a discussion, "Resilient Design: Micro? Nano? How Integrated Systems Excel," at the Energy Storage Association's 27th Annual Conference and Expo, April 18-20 in Denver, Colorado.
Author: Lisa Cohn
Posted: March 27, 2017, 3:21 pm
renewable energy and microgridsIt’s no secret that colleges and universities are some of the biggest microgrid users. But a new report says we should see more renewable energy and microgrids at these institutions.
Author: Lisa Cohn
Posted: March 27, 2017, 11:37 am
Take a look inside the 11 microgrid project winners selected March 23 by the New York Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) in Stage 2 of the NY Prize.
Author: Elisa Wood
Posted: March 24, 2017, 9:15 am
microgrid winnersIn a much anticipated move, Gov. Andrew Cuomo today announced the microgrid winners for Stage 2 of the NY Prize, as well as significant new financial support for those who go on to win in the third and final stage.
Author: Elisa Wood
Posted: March 23, 2017, 6:40 pm