Microgrids Are Changing Energy Sources

With advancements in technology, microgrids are revolutionizing the way facilities are receiving power. Cities in the United States are trying to shift away from using traditional centralized energy generation to a smarter more flexible energy resource. Microgrids provide a distributed energy source that is  key to keep sustained power during rigorous times such as natural disasters. While microgrids seem to be the way of the future, they come with government involvement. With Agenda Discovery, you and your company can stay up-to-date on the latest government regulations related to  microgrids.

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What is a Microgrid?

To fully understand what a microgrid is, it’s important to understand how a traditional grid provides energy. To power buildings, homes, or businesses in a certain neighborhood or area, their power sources are pulled through an interconnected main power grid that provides energy. However, when part of the main grid is broken, everyone connected to the grid loses power. This is one of the reasons whole neighborhoods have blackouts; each individual unit is dependent on the main power grid. With new advancements in technology, microgrids allow each individual building, home, or business to operate autonomously by disconnecting from a traditional grid. 

 

How Does a Microgrid Work?

There are different ways to power a microgrid and it depends on the energy source for each city or state. For example, it can be fueled by solar panels, distributed generators, or batteries. The microgrid connects to the main grid at a point of common coupling and acts almost as a middle man. However, the microgrid can maintain the voltage at the same level as the main grid retaining power when there is an outage with the main grid. There is a switch on the microgrid that can separate the main grid and make it operate independently.  

 

Current Microgrid Projects 

The benefits of a microgrid are environmentally-friendly, reduce power costs, and attain energy independence. That is why many cities and states are pushing to use them in their infrastructure. For  example, Santa Rita jail, in California, recently switched its facility to using microgrids. is. Additionally, this facility runs on a traditional grid, but with a flip of the switch, it can run independently on a lithium battery. Another example of a successful microgrid project is the mixed residential and industrial area of Mesa Del Sol in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The microgrid can be powered by a solar system, natural gas, battery, or a fuel cell. If the main power grid stops working, there is a switch that can be turned on manually or automatically that turns on the microgrid to power each building separately. 

 

Government Involvement

With any new system in infrastructure, comes government involvement. The state of California is creating rules and regulations to implement the new microgrid system. New Jersey is also on the fast track to use microgrids for its transit system. Many other states are starting to use and implement microgrids as they are rising in popularity. With states racing to get microgrids for their infrastructure, local lawmakers will be voting upon uses of them, which could affect your business. 

 

Track With Agenda Discovery

If you are in the utility industry, such as providing electricity or maintaining infrastructure, this could directly affect the way you do business. By using Agenda Discovery, you can monitor keywords like “solar power” and “microgrids” in local government agendas and track when and where these regulations will be voted on. Request a demo of Agenda Discovery today.

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