In this video, Elisa Wood, Microgrid Knowledge editor-in-chief, interviews Patrick Lee, co-founder and CEO of PXiSE Energy Solutions, a Sempra Energy company. The interview, about trends in the microgrid market, took place during Microgrid 2020 Global.
The two explore the biggest market influences and challenges this year. Lee also explains why front-of-the-meter microgrids can be more complex than behind-the-meter projects, and he offers specific examples of successful microgrid projects in the US.
As for what has made the biggest impact on the microgrid market this year, not surprisingly, COVID-19 comes up in the discussion.
“With the pandemic around us, what’s actually interesting is we see activity going up in terms of inquiry and interest. And in 2020, we have continued to see a really strong interest in resiliency in the application of microgrids,” says Lee.
Given travel restrictions, many microgrid projects experienced delay this year. That said, there is a bright side. Lee explains that with the rise in popularity of software-based microgrids, much of the development work can be undertaken remotely.
“One of the benefits today when deploying microgrids is having more autonomous features and control to allow less dependence on human beings,” Lee says.
Follow Executive Interviews from Microgrid 2020 Global, published regularly on Microgrid Knowledge.
Lee also describes challenges posed by the complexity of today’s advanced microgrids. For example, more and more microgrids are being deployed in front of the meter. These systems often are more sophisticated than the more common behind-the-grid microgrids.
As for an overall sense of how the market is doing, Lee has positive news.
“I really think the [Covid-related] slowdown is very temporary,” he says, pointing out that many microgrid projects are in the works and only temporarily delayed. The industry will adapt to change and relaunch these projects in the near-term future.
“The industry is pretty resilient in terms of adapting to the change, so I see the market coming back very soon, and coming back even stronger…” he concludes.
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