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.





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.





  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

legislationSen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rep. Tina Smith (D-Minn) introduced legislation this week that calls for a $300 million initiative to build five advanced, grid-scale energy storage systems across the country.
Author: Andrew Burger
Posted: May 24, 2019, 4:42 pm
energy storage microgridEversource plans to develop an energy storage microgrid in New Hampshire that takes the local energy concept to a new level by pairing the microgrid with a bring-your-own-device program.
Author: Elisa Wood
Posted: May 24, 2019, 3:39 pm
Advanced Microgrid ControlsAs microgrid deployments continue to rise, the question of whether to operate your microgrid using advanced centralized controls or simpler decentralized controls is top of mind for many. Here are some key considerations to help you decide whether advanced microgrid controls make sense for your deployment.
Author: Guest Post
Posted: May 24, 2019, 12:30 pm
microgrid 2019Microgrids increasingly depend on solar-plus-storage — or the ability to generate solar power on site and to store excess electrons in batteries that would release that energy when it is needed. But is energy storage ready for prime time? Read the latest from Microgrid 2019.
Author: Ken Silverstein
Posted: May 23, 2019, 12:05 pm
microgrids“Half of all microgrids have some type of utility involvement compared to 10% a few years ago,” Lola Infante, senior director at the Edison Electric Institute, said at the conference. “Utilities own and operate the distribution assets that microgrids need.
Author: Ken Silverstein
Posted: May 21, 2019, 4:10 pm