Increasingly, renewable microgrids are moving from concept to projects. Although utilities have become comfortable with the status quo of the centralized model of production, falling costs of renewable energy technologies, supplemented by volatile fossil fuel prices, is opening the door for portions of the gird to return to their localized roots. They are important because they aid with community-based initiatives such as resiliency, grid efficiency, and the management of increased deployment of distributed energy resources. Moreover, they are applicable to larger scope projects like deferring transmission and distribution upgrades.
At the heart of a microgrid is a computer-controlled energy management system that monitors and dispatches the energy storage system, PV, generators, and any other generation assets in the system. The energy management system measures demand, sets priorities for power delivery, and automatically powers up or shuts down diesel generators to match energy demand. Energy storage is crucial to the success of a microgrid because they help mitigate the fluctuation of renewable energy sources such as solar power. Although regulatory policies for microgrids are both complex and heterogeneous across all 50 states, there are active FERC proposals to increase the efficiency of permitting these systems.
For more information on microgrids, view our Isla Secas video below, reach out to your CivicSolar Account Manager, and refer to the following Schneider White Papers.
Microgrid White Papers:
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