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

State policymakers will begin work this week on a California microgrid road map, an effort to remove barriers to wide-spread commercialization of microgrids.
Author: Elisa Wood
Posted: May 23, 2016, 8:24 pm
News from the Microgrid Knowledge conference...NYSERDA sees strong IRR in top 10 NY Prize microgrids...GTM Research ups its forecast for microgrid growth.
Author: Elisa Wood
Posted: May 23, 2016, 2:08 pm
microgrid knowledge conferenceMicrogrids will play a key role as New York strives to make renewable energy 50 percent of its electric supply by 2030, said New York state’s Energy Czar Richard Kauffman at the Microgrid Knowledge conference yesterday in Manhattan.
Author: Elisa Wood
Posted: May 20, 2016, 2:52 pm
Plagued by power outages due to storms, PECO on May 18 filed a plan with Pennsylvania regulators to build two integrated community microgrids for a high density neighborhood with an 8.6 MW load.
Author: Lisa Cohn
Posted: May 20, 2016, 12:00 pm
Microgrid Confrence NY 2016The International District Energy Association (IDEA) and the Microgrid Resources Coalition (MRC) today announced a merger agreement that is expected to help microgrids gain new advocacy clout as the industry positions for growth.
Author: Lisa Cohn
Posted: May 18, 2016, 8:57 pm