From Boston to Dallas, this spring I have had the privilege of joining peers and colleagues at major industry forums to explore how microgrids are shaping our energy future. It speaks to the value and potential of multi-user, community microgrids that they are being included in such diverse events like the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) Transmission and Distribution Expo and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) Market Transformation Symposium.
Both City Planners and Investor Owned Utilities are actively seeking new microgrid projects to increase the power grid’s reliability, improve energy efficiency and incorporate renewable sources. There are substantial challenges that come along with fundamentally changing the grid from a one-way delivery system to a bi-directional energy network that can accommodate and utilize a wide range of power sources.
One topic that continues to dominate these industry conversations is load control for emerging community microgrids. What effective strategies exist for matching microgrid generation to load, thereby optimizing performance? The success or failure of this load-to-generation balance is foundational to any multi-user microgrid and critically important. It is important to communities that these load management issues and related systems have little to no visible impact on customers.
As microgrids grow from the single-user/campus model to true multi-user community systems, a uniform approach to load management that integrates commercially available smart grid technology becomes increasingly essential to reliable operation.
To address these challenges, we can take a cue from the time-tested methods that are used to control the “big” utility grid today, applying and adapting these strategies for community microgrids.
In my paper presented at the IEEE Expo, I review methodologies for measuring, evaluating, prioritizing and controlling loads under all conditions to maximize the performance of the microgrid.
Download the paper or contact me to learn more about: