1. Microgrids: Energy Independence (and Money Saved) for Companies

    Microgrids: Energy Independence (and Money Saved) for Companies

    ANDOVER, Mass. -- At the end of a heavily wooded, sparse industrial park here sits the North American headquarters and R&D center for Schneider Electric, which earlier this month unveiled its own campus power microgrid. The microgrid for the global energy management conglomerate is expected to produce 520,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, or 10% of Schneider Electric's power needs. It's also expected to reduce its energy costs by 20%.

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  1. Quotes

    1. The U.S. has been the best market for microgrids because our [national] grid reliability is much lower than other parts of the industrialized world, such as Europe or Japan.
    2. Local solutions, such as distributed generation and resilient microgrids, may offer lower-cost alternatives to major system investments particularly in areas at elevated risk from severe weather or other natural disasters.
    3. Basically, almost every state from Washington D.C. north on the Eastern Seaboard has some microgrid resiliency platform in place.
    4. The microgrid market is still wide open when it comes to market players and future opportunities for growth and maturation.
    5. We give them the benefits of a microgrid -- more reliable service, more sustainability and more efficiency -- and they don't have to make a big expenditure.
    6. This market growth is driven by an uptick in federal and state incentive programs, an interest and activity from utilities and [energy service companies], and emerging business models that share benefits, costs and ownership among multiple stakeholders.
    7. Back when I started covering them in 2009, most utilities where hostile to microgrids.
    8. We've deployed two so far, basically for testing and development.
    9. Earnest efforts are under way in creating blueprints for successfully developing a microgrid and navigating the legal, regulatory, and knowledge gaps associated with adopting these new technologies.
    10. It's simple to just connect a distributed energy source into the grid, but the hugely hard part is to get them to not fight with each other.
    11. It may be that putting batteries in a neighborhood may be cheaper than upgrading transmission lines to allow power to flow backwards.
    12. As soon as [utilities] have the ability to tweak demand, you can glean some economic value from it.
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