Microgrid Talk: EV proliferation will drive microgrid growth

Sept. 28, 2022
In the latest edition of Microgrid Talk, energy experts talk about how electric vehicles and other innovations will drive microgrid adoption.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more common and the passage of the new Inflation Reduction Act is going to spur adoption even more, according to Jaimie Hamilton, technical adviser for Cummins.

And that’s good news for the microgrid market, according to Hamilton.

“Adding electric vehicles is going to put further strains on the grid specifically when we’re talking about at-home charging,” Hamilton says in the latest panel discussion on Microgrid Talk. She says community microgrids can help eliminate risks to the grid that will come with the increased load demand from EV charging.

Chris Ellis, executive vice president of distributed infrastructure at PowerSecure, agrees. He notes that EV charging will increase load demand across the commercial and industrial sector as well, opening up new opportunities for microgrids and renewables. He explains that as companies transition to electric fleets, their load demand is going to grow exponentially. “The value of resiliency is also going to be affected exponentially because their ability to operate the next day is requisite of those vehicles charging.”

An on-site energy system that includes multiple renewables, on-site energy storage and a reciprocating generator for long-term resiliency will be a win-win, according to Ellis. “It’s a value to the customers, to the utility, and it’s a perfect fit for the microgrid market.”

Jana Gerber, North American microgrid president for Schneider Electric, points to a recent microgrid project in Montgomery County, Maryland, as one example of how microgrids can provide resilience and support EV charging. Gerber says the county was having challenges with getting the utility power capacity needed to charge its growing electric bus fleet. “They needed more uptime, they were looking for sustainability.” A microgrid provided both.

EV proliferation isn’t the only thing driving the microgrid market, according to Hamilton, Ellis and Gerber. In this edition of Microgrid Talk, the panelists also discuss the impact of hydrogen, changing business models, demand flexibility and technology that’s making it easier to produce, install and acquire microgrids.

Watch this Microgrid Talk video, which is part one of a three-part series.

About the Author

Kathy Hitchens | Special Projects Editor

I work as a writer and special projects editor for Microgrid Knowledge. I have over 30 years of writing experience, working with a variety of companies in the renewable energy, electric vehicle and utility sector, as well as those in the entertainment, education, and financial industries. I have a BFA in Media Arts from the University of Arizona and a MBA from the University of Denver.

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