Volume 15, Issue 50 January 29, 2018
In this Issue
With Energy Choice, You Have the Power to Choose
Editor's Note
A Record Withdrawal?
Energy Answers
Why Microgrids Matter
Weather
Local Heating Degree Days*
Our Wind Power Partners

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Energy Answers
Why Microgrids Matter
Microgrids provide energy security and resilience
 

A microgrid is a local energy grid that can operate either with the power grid or on its own.

Because a microgrid can operate independently from the grid, it improves energy security and resilience. Microgrids help ensure communities are equipped with energy stability and independence and act as a backup solution to extreme weather conditions and other unforeseen events. They make it possible for users to cut costs while gaining energy efficiency. Furthermore, a microgrid can expand reliable electricity service to new areas and reduce stress on the transmission and distribution system. 

A refresher on how the power grid works is helpful to understanding the benefits of microgrids and how they work. The power grid is an intricate network that connects peoples’ homes, businesses and buildings to power plants and other sources of energy. Everything is connected. If one section of the grid goes down, everyone else is affected.

This is where microgrids can help.

Microgrids are a relatively new technology in the energy industry and often require a large, upfront investment to implement. Innovations in financing models and the need for greater energy security and resilience are, nonetheless, helping to encourage their use.

Microgrids can be adapted to a community’s energy needs. As shown in the diagram above, they can integrate renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, small hydro, geothermal waste-to-energy and combined heat and power systems.1  They come in different sizes and designs and can power a single facility or a larger area. In the next 9 years, from 2017-2026, it is expected that microgrids will have a continuous, large growth rate, with a total annual global capacity increasing from 238.4 MW in 2017 to 3,291.8 MW in 2026.2  WGL Energy Systems (WGL Energy) supports this technology-driven solution and can help large commercial and industrial customers looking to invest in reliable, distributed energy technology and projects.

For help in determining if a microgrid can help you address your organization’s future energy needs, please contact Chris Murray at chris.murray@wglenergy.com or 703-333-3929. 




Endnotes
1 Eller, A., & Asmus, P. (n.d). Market Data: Energy Storage for Microgrids (pp. 1-28, Rep.). Navigant Research. Retrieved November 10, 2017, from http://www.navigantresearch.com/research/market-data-energy-storage-for-microgrids 
 
2 General Microgrids. (n.d.). What is a Microgrid? Retrieved November 10, 2017, from https://www.generalmicrogrids.com/about-microgrids
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