Delivering on the Promise of Microgrids: A Guide for Microgrid Developers

Share Button

In a new special report series brought to you by Microgrid Knowledge and Siemens, we provide a guide to help microgrid developers avoid the pain points that can wreck the financial and operational assumptions for a project. This first article explores why delivering on the promise of microgrids is a challenge.

Download the full report.

Microgrids continue to gain traction at health care facilities, universities and corporate campus settings, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg for developers. An increasingly diverse mix of commercial and industrial customers with retail, office, entertainment, production and many other types of facilities are seeing the value of microgrids for their operations. Industry trends are expected to enhance the benefits of commercial microgrids and create a booming market in the years to come.

Microgrid developers require a playbook, a checklist of sorts, to navigate the process from serving the customer to vendor management and procurement to integration.

But as the market grows and diversifies, microgrid developers are suffering growing pains. Customer needs are shifting. Projects are becoming more diverse, with some requiring greater complexity while others need to fit a cheaper, more replicable template. New technologies are changing microgrid possibilities almost daily. An already patchwork mix of rules and regulations is shifting at different speeds and directions from market to market.

It’s a landscape where even experienced developers can run into potholes, hurdles and brick walls in the form of unwelcome scope gaps discovered during the development process, cost overruns and project delays. The results are often unmet customer needs.

Microgrid developers require a playbook, a checklist of sorts, to navigate the process from serving the customer to vendor management and procurement to integration. This special report, prepared by Microgrid Knowledge in partnership with Siemens, offers a guide to avoid the pain points that can wreck the financial and operational assumptions for a project and turn a win-win into a lose-lose for developers and their customers.

Delivering on the promise of microgrids is a challenge

The market for commercial microgrids is forecast to grow rapidly in the coming years, creating a major business opportunity for both new and experienced microgrid developers. Commercial and industrial microgrids, once the smallest segment of microgrid development, has already grown to become the second largest market segment with 26% of global market share.

Microgrid developers

As commercial and industrial customers increasingly consider microgrids for their operations, they do so with three primary goals: cost savings, resiliency and sustainability.

For more information, download the full report.

However, not all microgrid developers are prepared to deliver on those customer goals. They sound simple, but the list of challenges to achieve them can be long and complex. As a developer, you must be ready to:

  • Set appropriate customer expectations for what their microgrid can deliver.
  • Determine if financial assumptions are accurate.
  • Explore ownership and operating models that are desirable for the project, such as an energy-as-a-service contract.
  • Navigate jurisdictional regulations, permitting and requirements, including the relationship with the local utility.
  • Manage vendors.
  • Integrate systems and hardware into a smoothly operating microgrid that delivers everything promised to the customer.
  • Plan for future changes to meet customers’ changing needs.
  • Fill gaps in expertise on the developer team as new technologies emerge.
  • Find trusted partners to plan and execute increasingly complex projects.

If not properly managed, all of these challenges can cause costly planning and execution delays as well as unwelcome surprises in the form of scope gaps. These result in projects delivered late and over budget.

The Definitive Guide for Microgrid Developers

In the coming weeks, this special report series will explore the following topics:

  • Step 1: Understand project and operational requirements
  • Step 2: Conduct studies that provide real, project-specific answers
  • Step 3: Make the right procurement decisions
  • Step 4: Manage balance-of-plant considerations
  • Step 5: Smoothly integrate the project without costly scope gaps

Download the full report “5 Steps to Develop Microgrids Easier, Faster and at Less Cost: The Definitive Guide for Microgrid Developers,” courtesy of Siemens to learn more.

Share Button

Leave a Comment

*