Many utilities are analyzing the benefits of microgrids, which help keep the lights on if the centralized electrical grid is compromised.
A microgrid is a close group of energy sources (often referred to as a distributed generation fleet) that is connected to the national grid but has the ability to disconnect and operate independently, usually in the event of an electrical outage.
A microgrid can come in many forms, some of which include diesel, natural gas, solar and wind – all of which help meet local demand. The idea is to provide even more safe, reliable and affordable power that bolsters the nation’s electrical infrastructure and protects vulnerable communities.
Check out these 5 benefits of microgrids
- Boost electrical reliability. It can be dangerous when the power is out. Microgrids are built close to the customers they serve, keeping power flowing by temporarily disconnecting (also referred to as “islanding”) from the central grid. This eases strain on the central grid during periods of peak demand. It’s all about having backup power if the main grid goes down, which can help keep vital facilities running – especially when it comes to schools, hospitals, grocery stores and gas stations.
- Promote renewable energy. Many people care about pursuing clean energy goals that will help the environment. Microgrids can consist of a wide range of green power production sources, such as wind and solar, which help cut carbon emissions and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
- Strengthen cybersecurity. The distributed architecture of a microgrid makes it more resistant to cyberattacks. Should one generation source be attacked, the microgrid has other power sources to rely on.
- Promote economic growth. Microgrids help prevent the loss of work days during a period of interrupted power, while also creating more local jobs. Additionally, by offering reliable power through microgrids, communities have a better chance of attracting high-quality employers.
- Enable faster construction. Historically speaking, microgrids can be installed more quickly than traditional power plants, helping to meet public demand more quickly.