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

DERMSDERMs are essential to today’s new generation of grid control and optimization. These state-of-the-art systems seamlessly integrate high penetrations of solar energy and other distributed energy resources into the grid.
Author: Microgrid Knowledge Editors
Posted: June 18, 2018, 1:00 pm
village microgridsModern, environmentally friendly energy is available to villagers in the Indian Sundarbans -- the world's largest, remaining mangrove forest ecosystem -- thanks to village microgrids deployed as a result of WWF-India's Project Sahasra Jyoti.
Author: Andrew Burger
Posted: June 18, 2018, 12:00 pm
demand response in PJMTwo different models yielded two very different outcomes for demand response in PJM territory and California recently. The results illuminate the pros and cons of how distributed energy resources are treated in both markets.
Author: Lisa Cohn
Posted: June 15, 2018, 3:40 pm
airport microgridThe California Energy Commission yesterday approved about $10 million in grants, one for a college microgrid in Sonoma County and the second for an airport microgrid in Humboldt.
Author: Elisa Wood
Posted: June 14, 2018, 1:00 pm
virtual power plantsConsumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, plans to unveil an integrated resource plan (IRP) this week that elevates virtual power plants as a means to meet new energy needs.
Author: Elisa Wood
Posted: June 14, 2018, 12:00 pm