Creating Microgrids and PERCs: Powered Emergency Response Centers
An EcoMotion White Paper by Ted Flanigan, April 2017
Microgrids are all the rage, one of the hottest trends in the power sector. Taking advantage of technology gains, we’re experiencing a return to smaller power grids; shifting back from centralized utility systems to neighborhood-scale power. Small is beautiful! Microgrids are elegant, sustainable, resilient, and can be cost-effective.
Microgrids are not a new construct. Thomas Edison began with a microgrid. They’ve been on college campuses and at medical centers for years, often based on combined heat and power systems. But this paper is about a new and exciting form of microgrid. The microgrids that are the root of this paper – that combine renewable energy with energy storage — may become ubiquitous throughout North America, for campuses, for communities. They are a new form of microgrid, carbon-free microgrids. They do not replace utility grids; they complement them, adding key features, like onsite renewable power and emergency back-up systems. They’re mini grids that work daily and then that really spring into action when the big grid goes down. And they are enabled by advanced energy storage.