The potential market for community microgrids is significant. And many collaborative projects are possible in the U.S. for a first community microgrid in each city or county. Once a city or county completes its first community microgrid and realizes its various benefits, the potential for additional community microgrids increases.
To develop community microgrids, microgrid providers can potentially partner with any of the over 3,000 U.S. electric utilities and 750 community choice aggregators (CCAs), as well as over 3,000 U.S. cities, and 3,000 counties, to increase resilience to wildfires, extreme weather, cybersecurity and physical security attacks, and other threats. Designing, installing, operating, and maintaining community microgrids offers a potentially lucrative business opportunity for microgrid providers, system developers and installers, and related enterprises.
However, in many jurisdictions, various financial, institutional (regulatory and legal), and perceptional barriers present key challenges to community microgrid implementation. This white paper describes these barriers and leading practices for microgrid developers to consider for successful community microgrid implementation.