The benefits that microgrids bring are quickly making them one of the defining components of the utility systems in future.
FREMONT, CA: Enhancing the reliability of electricity delivery is one of the priorities for electric utilities today. With the growing demand for electricity, new ways of ensuring disruption-free supply are being formulated. Conventional grids are being upgraded into smart ones capable of automated operations and support renewable energy. However, that is not all; microgrids are coming up big time as well. As components that can be installed to run independently from the wider grids, microgrids have the potential to redefine electric utility services. The following list cites some of the notable benefits of microgrids as they become more and more affordable.
• Supports Distributed Energy
Today, Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) are assuming a lot of importance. To integrate these DERs into the primary grid can be complicated and ineffective. However, with microgrids becoming feasible, DERs can easily be harnessed. Be it rooftop solar or localized wind energy units, microgrids allow the integration of the DERs into local networks.
• Reduces Dependence on T&D Infrastructure
When microgrids become a part of the network, the dependence on conventional Transmission and Distribution (T&D) infrastructure during peak load also reduces. It eliminates the need for periodic investments from electric utilities towards upgrading transmission and distribution capacities.
• Prevents Disruptions
Disruptions pose a challenge to a reliable energy supply. With microgrids, islanding and interoperability characteristics improve. This allows for seamless transitions from the main grids whenever there are sudden outages. Apart from that, the release of stored energy from the microgrids also helps during the peak demand durations.
• Load Leveling and Shaving
Be it excess electricity or an excess of demand for electricity, microgrids are the best solution. During high energy and low demand situations, microgrids can help absorb and store energy, preventing the need for curtailments. On the other hand, during peak demand, the stored energy can be released to facilitate consistent supplies.
The benefits of microgrids are valuable for both electricity providers as well as consumers. Going forward, microgrids have the potential to take electricity where conventional grids have not reached yet while granting utilities with new opportunities for business.