How We Sell Microgrids Short. Way Short.

By Doug Houseman

EnerNex’s Doug Houseman explains how we sell microgrids short. The ideal microgrid is not just a technology to generate power, but a way to manage an entire habitat.

There is a lot of discussion about microgrids and their future and impact on the electrical industry. But most of those focus on delivering electricity and reliability. Unfortunately, that sells the possibilities of the microgrid short. Way short, with a much higher waste of energy and opportunity than there should be.

Microgrids typically contain a range of components:

  • Renewable generation like solar and wind
  • Conventional generation like internal combustion systems or fuel cells
  • Energy storage
  • A range of loads that include process, lighting and environmental
  • Controls and sensors
  • Demand response sensors and controls
  • Computing resources that monitor and manage the system

Ideally microgrids balance supply and demand, optimizing the economics of the system when connected to the larger grid, and providing a complete balance when running disconnected from the grid. In remote locations microgrids may be designed from the ground up to run in isolation.