What is a Microgrid?
Microgrids are electrical networks. The self-contained network allows organizations to generate electricity on-site and distribute it to connected buildings. Microgrids are often found in universities and other large campuses. Using software controls and battery storage systems to regulate and distribute the energy.
The technology seems complicated, but microgrid accessibility is easier than you may think.
The self-contained grid is reliable and resilient. It works with multiple power sources. Their versatility enhances their appeal, along with the grid’s ability to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
Here are some examples of microgrids in the real world.
Microgrids in the Real World – 3 Examples
Government and Public Facilities
In California, the Port of Long Beach is the second busiest in the United States. The port uses a microgrid to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and lower electrical costs.
The microgrid uses a combination of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel array and a stationary battery energy storage system. The addition of PV systems allows the port to produce and store energy. Cloud-based controls handle demand response and optimize operations.
The Montgomery County Public Safety Headquarters (PSHQ) in Montgomery County, Maryland is using a PEER-certified microgrid. It is the county’s largest PSHQ and can generate 100% of its power from the microgrid. Along with updates to the infrastructure, solar renewable and natural gas generators keep the electrical systems functioning, including heating and cooling units.
The PSQH is seeing energy savings of up to 12 million units and financial savings of $486,000 annually.
Nature preserves are also taking advantage of microgrids. The Fox Cities Environmental Learning Center in Bubolz Nature Preserve is using a state-of-the-art microgrid to power its nature center. It uses solar photovoltaics, a fuel cell, storage, natural gas generator, and a microturbine to help the preserve reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral.
Agricultural and Food Production Facilities
Vertical farms and manufacturing plants are using microgrids to produce sustainable power and reduce carbon emissions.
The vertical farming company Fifth Season is powering its indoor infrastructure with microgrid software and hardware. Bimbo Bakeries USA is installing hybrid systems and microgrids in its six California locations. These initiatives are helping the bakery reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
Military and Transport Companies
Maryland, Montgomery County is installing microgrids to help power its transition to electric buses. The goal is to generate 100% green energy.
A microgrid system at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (MCAS) in San Diego, California prevented over 2,000 homes from losing power during a 2020 blackout. The microgrid also enabled over 100 critical facilities to continue operating without interruption.
The base’s microgrid uses 75% renewable energy and can also operate in “island mode”, separate from the main grid.
Microgrids are Accessible
Microgrids are no longer something employed by facilities frequently dealing with grid challenges. The market is expanding, and their versatility allows them to fit your facility’s unique energy and operational needs.
As we continue taking steps toward sustainability, microgrids will continue to play a vital role in powering both public and private facilities.
To speak with an Action Services Group power systems specialist about your microgrid and net-zero goals, call 610-558-9773, email [email protected] or schedule a call that fits your needs by clicking the button below.