- The U.S. Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will partner with General Electric Company (GE) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and fund research on seven $1.2 million microgrid projects. The objective of the $8 million study is to understand how microgrids can mitigate the impact of extreme weather events on urban areas’ electric grids.
- NREL scientists will use power electronics in the seven microgrids to test GE and EPRI controllers subjected to real-time simulations of full power levels and actual loads at NREL's Energy System Integration Facility (ESIF).
- GE’s tests will be on the resilience of a 200 kilowatt microgrid that would provide security to the Potsdam, New York, area. Power sources may include either 2 megawatts of photovoltaic solar or combined heat and power generators.
Navigant Research forecasts that revenue from global microgrid deployments will be over $40 billion per year in 2020, up from just under $10 billion in 2013.
As of the second quarter of 2014, there was 4,393 megawatts of microgrid capacity globally, according to Navigant. North America leads other regions with 2,874 megawatts of planned, proposed, and deployed capacity, 66% of the world’s total. It also has 67% of planned and proposed capacity.
Governments globally are advancing the study of new business models that can take advantage of advanced energy storage in the full commercial implementation of microgrids, Navigant also reported.
The biggest of the microgrid enabling technologies (METs) globally is distributed generation (DG) like diesel generators, natural gas generators, and renewables, according to Navigant. Advanced energy storage will become the biggest single MET investment category by 2023, when all global annual DG vendor revenue is expected to be $9.6 billion, up from 2014’s $1.8 billion.