In past few years more and more focus is being given to making the use of Green technology common. This is certainly logical, given the dramatic cost reduction by renewable energy technologies. There has been a revolution in the energy production sector in last few decades as there have been large solar farms and wind farms created and these are now synced with the mainstream electrical network all over the world. Earlier it all started with subsidized initiatives and recently it has been transformed to being more of a competitive based energy farms. Yet, so far microgrids haven’t been able to get that much of attention.
Microgrids are considered to be energy industry’s one of the fastest a growing segment. Microgrids represents a major transformation from the centralized power plants station to more distributed and localized power plants. These new generation of power plants are situated mostly in areas like campuses, communities and cities. The ability of microgrids to work independently from the main grids is what makes them stronger. The delivery of services is permitted by the ability of conducting parallel and flexible operations.
What exactly is Microgrid?
A group of loads that are interconnected with each other, distributed generation assets and different sources of energy is called as a microgrid. A microgrid can be situated in either remote or densely populated areas. It is not mandatory for a microgrid to be connected to the main grid it can be off grid as well. No matter what type of load or asset Microgrid is combining with, its independently working ability is an important characteristics that shold be focused on.
There are number of integral advantages offered by an operating a microgrid offers. As the microgrids make use of renewable energy sources which in turn cuts out the whole instability of fuel prices, the predictability of power price is increased along with its other benefits such as flexibility in size and lower electricity costs. A reliable and safe power source is provided by these types of systems as the help in reducing user’s carbon footprint is provided.
Micro in size, macro in benefits
Provide efficient, low-cost, clean energy
Improve the operation and stability of the regional electric grid
Critical infrastructure that increases reliability and resilience
Reduce grid “congestion” and peak loads
Enable highly-efficient CHP, reducing fuel use, line losses, and carbon footprint
Integrate CHP, renewables, thermal and electric storage, and advanced system and building controls
Make RTO markets more competitive
Offer grid services including: energy, capacity, and ancillary services
Support places of refuge in regional crises and first responders
Use local energy resources and jobs
Diversified risk rather than concentrated risk
Using electric and thermal storage capabilities, a microgrid can provide local management of variable renewable generation, particularly on-site solar
When properly designed, a regional power grid that combines both large central plants and distributed microgrids can be built with: less total capital cost, less installed generation, higher capacity factor on all assets, and higher reliability.
Apart from the numerous advantages of the microgrids, there are some of the hurdles the system has to face for the extensive implementation. At many levels such as local, state and federal there are many contradictory regulations that microgrids has to face. Which clearly is a primary obstacle for these systems.