Which Type of Microgrid is Right For Your Needs?
Microgrids are transforming the way modern businesses access and use the energy they need to grow. More than 6,600 new microgrid projects were in the pipeline as of early last year. That number is sure to rise as concerns over grid stability and reliability spread across the country. If you are like many business owners, you wonder how to incorporate microgrid technology into your long-term plans. To that end, the following are the different types of microgrids and factors you should consider.
Ideal for use in remote locations, remote microgrids are designed to operate as islands at all times. This makes them ideal for forestry operations, mining, oil and natural gas, and other applications where power infrastructure is non-existent. However, because they are designed for operation in isolated environments, it’s best to use solar and wind power generation systems which are both reliable and eco-friendly.
Since remote microgrids don’t require regular fuel deliveries and can be set up to provide optimal electricity production without the need for fuel storage facilities and other infrastructure required to support diesel powered systems.
These types of microgrids are connected to the utility through a switching mechanism. When desired, they can be isolated, and when needed, they can be connected to the main grid. The advantage of this is that the utility service provider can be serviced, which significantly reduces the burden of maintenance and monitoring.
Nested microgrids are connected to the utility grid circuit and provide power over a wide area. These can be set up to provide power to multiple grid-connected systems or isolated to operate in island mode. These are ideal for situations where you may need power at one site but not others at various times. This allows you to divert power where it’s needed and shut it off when it’s not.
Investing in Essential Microgrid Technology
Most microgrids will require significant investment in infrastructure and equipment. For example, if you opt for an island system, you will need local voltage and frequency controls and will most likely want to invest in energy storage through either a battery or flywheel system.
Of course, this doesn’t come cheap, and you will need to determine the best way to finance your microgrid. This may involve seeking investors, pooling funds with partners, or searching for financing through one of the many financing programs that lenders are putting together as demand for microgrids grows. The bottom line is that where there is the need for a microgrid, there are plenty of options for paying for the project that won’t require adding a hefty expense to weigh down your bottom line.
We are happy to answer your questions about microgrid technology. We invite you to contact Gen-Tech Power Generation Systems at (800) 625-8324 to speak with our power generation experts. Our microgrid experts can help you determine which system is best suited for your needs today, tomorrow, and long into the future.