Properly Planning for the Multiple Impacts of Microgrids: Jon Erickson of POWER Engineers MGK 2024

May 28, 2024
Microgrids offer increased reliability, resiliency, and energy efficiency, but if the systems aren’t properly planned and installed, they will fail to perform as intended, and the business will face challenges in realizing the available benefits, Jon Erickson, senior project manager with POWER Engineers, pointed out during the Microgrid Knowledge Conference this April in Baltimore.

As the challenges of maintaining power and operations in the face of an aging grid become more prevalent, industries are discovering the potential of microgrids.

Microgrids offer increased reliability, resiliency, and energy efficiency, but if the systems aren’t properly planned and installed, they will fail to perform as intended, and the business will face challenges in realizing the available benefits, Jon Erickson, senior project manager with POWER Engineers, pointed out.

EnergyTech.com and Microgrid Knowledge Senior Editor Breanna Sandridge spoke with Erickson in a video interview at the Microgrid Knowledge Conference last month in Baltimore. POWER Engineers was a gold sponsor at the MGK Conference.

Several considerations go into installing a microgrid system, such as load profiles, generation capacities, and infrastructure limitations, Erickson noted. This involves a multi-step approach that ensures the microgrid is the right fit for the business and educates and instills confidence in the stakeholders.

“What we’re looking at during the conceptual design of the microgrid and the preliminary engineering is ‘do we have the assets, the technology, the energy resources that are involved, and do we meet the environmental regulations?’” he said. “How is that microgrid going to perform year after year? Does that look attractive in terms of a financial return and meet the goals of the stakeholders?”  

While multiple factors must be considered when deploying a microgrid project, another resource is reviewing installation success cases, Erickson added. Although microgrids have only become a mainstream topic of conversation in recent years, they have been supporting various industries for decades.

“We have a lot of projects with utilities and even Native American tribes, where sustainability, resiliency, and energy cost reduction are big drivers. We also have the critical infrastructure folks… where there is a lot of power in a concentrated area, and they have got to be able to have that power,” added Erickson.

To learn more about how to properly plan and execute a microgrid project and what industries are seeing the benefits of this technology in real time, check out the interview with Erickson from the Microgrid Knowledge Conference. 

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