Microgrids Highlighted as Key Contributor to Sustainable Energy Networks

Microgrids Highlighted as Key Contributor to Sustainable Energy Networks

With the ability to closely integrate, monitor, and process various energy supplies and backups, Microgrids are increasingly recognized as vital components of sustainable infrastructure for industries and communities.

Team Gemini utilizes a variety of technologies to help progress sustainable applications of energy generation and resource management. As part of a closed-loop, consistent renewable energy supply, the application of Microgrids within a project’s utility management suite is critical in matching different energy sources, backup power, and more.

As a topic of conversation during a session with ICF International, Microgrids were highlighted in terms of their industry presence, benefits, integration with CHP units, and more.  There are numerous traits of Microgrids, including:

(1) Distributed energy resources with the ability to island (disconnect completely) from the grid;
(2) Operations maintained through an active management system; and,
(3) Self-sustaining electricity source during grid/utility outage.

Microgrids provide end users with resilient operations and reduced energy costs. They can allow utilities to defer their transmission and distribution investments and offer ancillary services. Additionally, they also can be valuable to society, by offering increased grid reliability and emissions reduction.

CHP leads all technologies in microgrid deployments by capacity. Currently, more than 4,400 installations, with locations in every state, make up 82 GW of CHP capacity in the U.S. In addition, 1,100 MW of microgrid capacity is installed in the U.S. and 50 percent of that capacity includes CHP.

Future developments of Microgrids are predicted to include better options for battery and other forms of energy storage. One of the benefits of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and CHPs—developed through Team Gemini’s bio-refinery suite—compared to some other renewable energy technologies like solar and wind is the flexibility in storing biogas, methane gas, CNG, and other gases to be used and processed through CHP units as is needed; in other words, this already allows for some form of energy storage for use with a Microgrid.

No single technology as of yet can provide all solutions, so Team Gemini and its members like ABB actively develop closed-loop project solutions involving bio-products, sustainable agriculture, water treatment, and more.

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