Development of Microgrids in Remote Regions Highlights Effectiveness and Competitiveness of Integrated Energy Management Systems

Development of Microgrids in Remote Regions Highlights Effectiveness and Competitiveness of Integrated Energy Management Systems

An influx of new microgrid projects and upgrades of existing facilities continue growing presence of island-mode-enabled energy storage and management systems.

Energy independence isn’t a far-fetched idea; many locations are already reaping the benefits of renewable-energy infrastructure and a variety of systems that work in combination to provide full energy security. To help address the need for decentralized, safeguarded energy supply, Team Gemini integrates multiple sustainability technologies in its overall development approach. As part of closed-loop, consistent renewable energy, the application of microgrids within a facility’s utility management infrastructure is integral in combining different energy sources, backup power, and more.

Remote regions are often at the forefront of investments in renewables, including innovative microgrid systems, by nature of necessity—they may be too far away from other infrastructure that would supply them with needed energy, meaning they are responsible for creating and maintaining their own resources, or otherwise contend with expensive alternatives from afar.

A new report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) earlier this month highlighted the growing trend currently in play in the microgrid sector — specifically the combination of solar with storage microgrids. According to Bloomberg’s 2Q 2017 Frontier Power Market Outlook, “Market fundamentals and other developments in 1Q tended to support the economics of small-scale clean energy systems.”

The deployment of island microgrid systems has also increased pace, with energy storage companies such as Tesla, Fluidic Energy, and Electro Power Systems continuing to deploy significant capacity in the first quarter. Specifically, Tesla’s island microgrids represent 36% of the company’s total power storage capacity deployed to date.

In fact, numerous new project announcements have been made over the past six months, while several existing projects integrated new sources of energy generation and storage. Numerous commitments were made by outside parties — such as the International Renewable Energy Agency, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Schneider and Engie, and Microsoft and Facebook — have contributed to accelerating the development and deployment of microgrids across the Asia Pacific region.

Further improvements to microgrids will include improved options for battery and other forms of energy storage. To that end, among the benefits of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and Combined Heat and Power units (CHPs)—developed through Team Gemini’s bio-refinery—is the flexibility in storing biogas, methane gas, CNG, and other gases to be used and processed through CHPs as is needed; in other words, this already allows for some form of energy storage for use with a microgrid, and can also be combined with solar, wind, and even fossil fuel sources.

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