Microgrid Technology: Easing Power Failure & Climate Change
PG&E’s decision to plan power outages throughout California in recent months has raised eyebrows across the country. Worried consumers are losing faith in the ability of public utilities to provide reliable power to their homes and businesses. Healthcare facilities worry that they won’t be able to care for patients, and emergency responders fear they won’t have the power they need to keep the public safe from crime, wildfires, and natural disasters. Lives and livelihoods are on the line, and many people are looking towards microgrid technology as a possible solution.
California Regulators Step in & Investigate
Following a unanimous vote in early November, the California Public Utilities Commission has initiated an investigation into PG&E’s actions over recent months. There is a justifiable concern that the company prioritized profits and violated CPUC regulations that put the public at risk. Specifically, regulators are interested in determining whether the company willfully neglected investments in critical infrastructure.
Ripples Throughout the Country
Erin Brockovich and the recent firestorms made PG&E the most infamous utility provider in the country. However, they aren’t the only utility provider facing severe problems with power delivery to the communities they serve. The alarming reality is that these problems are growing nationwide. As utility providers struggle to handle everything from power surges to natural disasters, many are starting to think microgrid technology could hold the answer to solving these problems.
More Focus on Microgrids
Microgrids are smaller, self-sustaining, and operate independently of the larger grid as a whole. Because they are localized, it is possible to disconnect parts of the power grid without having to take the entire network offline. This segregation makes it easier to conduct maintenance and repair damaged equipment while minimizing disruption to the community.
Microgrids are usually connected to the larger utility grid. When a problem occurs, the microgrid is disconnected from the malfunctioning power grid, which allows the utility provider to continue delivering power to homes, hospitals, businesses, etc.
Impact on Climate Change
Climate change is the topic of the decade within the power generation industry. Microgrid technology depends heavily on renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric. They may also incorporate power generators like those sold and serviced here at Gen-Tech. These power generation options can be positioned throughout a community to deliver reliable, clean energy throughout the year. Further, battery technology is evolving, which means that modern batteries can provide a dependable buffer between the point of power loss and transfer to the microgrid.
When a utility grid fails, the disruption is minimal because the community is already generating its power at multiple points within the microgrid. Moreover, the costs of building and maintaining these systems are decreasing, which makes them an affordable option for small, medium, and large communities to consider. The result is cheap, clean, reliable power that people can depend on for their daily needs.
Contact Gen-Tech Power Generation Specialists at (800) 625-8324 to learn more about microgrid technology. It is our pleasure to help you understand how this emerging technology is evolving and how you can make use of it for your operations.