Microgrids are becoming more and more prevalent for good reason. The microgrid is a modern approach to solving multiple energy challenges. But a microgrid’s unique nature can trip up even the most advanced engineers and utility staff.
The existing infrastructure isn’t designed for rapid change, and upgrades require significant capital. New technologies and emerging social concerns are causing industry disruption. And microgrids are becoming more and more popular as an answer to these challenges and disruptions.
A microgrid is a group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources within clearly defined electrical boundaries that acts as a single controllable entity with respect to the grid. A microgrid can connect and disconnect from the grid to enable it to operate in both a grid-connected or island mode. — Microgrids at Berkeley Lab (U.S. Department of Energy)
What’s the value of this technology? If only coming to a definitive answer were easy. Placing a value on microgrids is challenging because there’s no simple formula that can capture every microgrid. Each location has unique problems microgrids can help solve, and microgrids can be designed in different ways to deliver a unique set of grid services.
This handbook from S&C Electric is designed to help determine whether a microgrid is the best solution for you and to prepare your team if you decide to pursue building one.