How Microgrids address disruption in the Electric Grid – including blackouts due to cyber attacks, EMP, and weather-related incidents
The US currently has vulnerabilities in the electric grid – including vulnerabilities to black-outs, cyber-attacks, and EMP disruption. Some of the vulnerabilities are weather related and are concerns around cost and safety to communities, but others are National Security concerns. Today’s solutions to these vulnerabilities (diesel fueled generators) have limited capability because fuel runs out, or fuel delivery may be disrupted, and therefore despite having back-up power the facility will go down. Some facilities have installed renewable energy, which provide some protection from utility outages, but pure renewables are limited as a solution due to the intermittent nature of the renewables, and the fact that they are present only during part of the day. Other facilities use Energy Storage combined with renewables, but this also has limits since Energy Storage systems today are mostly grid-tied, which means they do not provide energy when the grid is down. New technologies associated with renewables and energy storage combined with microgrid controls make it feasible for facilities to become self-sufficient with respect to their power needs, eliminating the loss of the macro-grid as single point of failure for critical operations. Microgrids provide the potential to address these cost, safety, and National Security concerns for communities and utilities.
In this discussion we’ll discuss how Microgrids potentially address one or more of issues, and we’ll also highlight at least one Use Case and the underlying assumptions that quantify the value proposition for the Use Case.
Robert Beaton, Primus Power