Are Microgrids Powered By On Site Green Energy The Next Big Thing?

Given the spate of natural disasters and the impact that they have had on delivering electricity, microgrids that encircle specific campuses are gaining in popularity. They offer a Swiss-Army knife of possibilities — everything from greater reliability to cleaner power to economic development. Their future?

Consider IIVI Incorporated makes 3D sensing technologies and it wants to reduce its carbon footprint by installing a microgrid at its New Jersey manufacturing facility: It is using a localized grid because the electric utility is unable to supply the amount of power it needs to keep up with its growth.

That is also happening at hospitals, universities and technology companies — enterprises that can’t afford a loss of power for minutes much less several days. Those microgrids are designed to work in unison with distributed energy resources like solar panels and battery storage as well as fuel cells — the types of 21st Century technologies that are not just more reliable but potentially, much cleaner. 

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Ken Silverstein, May 23, 2019