By allowing multiple generation assets to provide power for a common load, microgrids greatly increase both the reliability of power and its efficiency of generation. Typically, the greatest beneficiaries of microgrids are customers with large, mission critical facilities or large power consumers in areas prone to frequent and/or prolonged outages (e.g. hurricane zones).More
Many large utility customers, including military installations, hospital campuses and universities, are considering microgrids to better manage energy usage and enhance power quality and system reliability. In addition to greater “energy security,” some of the microgrid effects offer a variety of economic benefits ranging from greater efficiency of operation to the ability to facilitate participation in demand response and interruptible rate programs provided by the local utility. There are many scenarios and environments where a utility can benefit from a customer’s implementation of a microgrid. This paper explores the drivers behind microgrid effects, the benefits to end use customers, and the mutual benefits of microgrids to the utility that provides or supports them.