Blue Sky Power

Microgrids & District Energy (continued)

What are microgrids?

MicrogridsIf the main regional power grid is a highway, think of a microgrid as a parallel lane that’s fully connected to the highway but that your institution alone controls and has access to.

A microgrid is a small-scale power generation and distribution system that exclusively serves your institution or a group of institutions, providing power at a lower price and providing a shield against power interruptions when the regional grid experiences problems. Solar arrays, combined heat and power (CHP) systems, wind turbines, hydroelectric facilities and other power generators alone or in combination can provide the energy for microgrids.

For hospitals, research facilities, businesses and other institutions, such protections from power interruptions are essential. And in remote areas, microgrids serve as the local electric utility in absence of a connection to a regional grid.

Economics and future prospects

Within the new microgrids, “smart” switches, relays and sensors manage and distribute power as needed more efficiently than traditional regional power grids. Combined with other new technologies and building design features, microgrids reduce energy costs in part by cutting energy usage.

The proximity of the power generation for the microgrid and the microgrid’s smaller radius for power distribution also works to cut costs. This is because power generated in a microgrid is used locally, reducing losses from the transmission of electricity and heat over long distances. A microgrid also offers its customers the option of buying power from the regional grid only when it’s cheap and switching off from the regional grid in favor of cheaper clean energy produced on-site when the regional utility’s prices are more expensive.

MicrogridsThe small scale of individual investments in a microgrid reduces capital exposure and risk by closely matching electrical capacity increases to growth in power demand. And the low capital cost for microgrids potentially enables low-cost entry into a competitive market.

While microgrids are still largely in the experimental and conceptual stage, across the country there are universities (Princeton and Harvard among them), medical facilities, military bases and even towns that own and operate microgrids. Blue Sky Power can assist your organization in leading the way forward to cleaner, more efficient power through the development and implementation of microgrids. Blue Sky and its partners are interested in developing, owning and operating the infrastructure and power generation facilities that comprise a microgrid. Please contact us for further information.

Energy Infrastructure

Cogeneration / CHP

Solar Energy

Energy Efficiency

Fuel Cells

Microgrids & District Energy

Geothermal


 

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