Microgrids provide more than just reliability

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Hospitals, colleges, utilities and a growing number of other industries are turning to microgrids as they look for reliable ways to power their operations. Looking beyond reliability, a new white paper from Mesa Solutions outlines some lesser known benefits that a microgrid can provide. 


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Mesa Solutions describes a microgrid as being “like your own electricity grid, run with one or more fuel sources, including natural gas, wind, solar and more.” Because microgrids can produce and store energy both when they’re connected or disconnected from the grid, they can provide power when it’s needed most. This is what makes them reliable.

But microgrids have other, lesser known benefits, according to author Tom Poteet, vice president of corporate development at Mesa Solutions.

Because microgrids are often powered with renewable energy sources, they can help businesses meet aggressive carbon neutral goals, according to the white paper. Poteet says “when your microgrid blueprint includes a diverse mix of renewable energy, coupled with a greener, more reliable fuel source like natural gas, you can help save the earth AND stay powered through extreme weather conditions.”

He explains how Mesa integrates natural gas generators with renewable power sources. Not only does this energy mix provide reliability on calm, cloudy days, but “microgrids powered with natural gas generators also provide a greener alternative fuel source in comparison to diesel.”

Microgrids allow you to avoid skyrocketing utility rates as fluctuations frequently occur due to demand, fuel costs and power plant availability. — Mesa Solutions, “The Lesser-Known Benefits of a Microgrid

The white paper lists cost savings as another lesser known benefit of a microgrid. The process of “peak-shaving” allows businesses to avoid fluctuations in energy costs by drawing power from their microgrid rather than the utility during times when grid power rates are high.

Poteet also explains how microgrids can allow companies to benefit from an energy-as-a-service (EaaS) cost structure. “The EaaS cost structure allows customers to avoid the upfront capital expenditures of purchasing a microgrid by offering a multiyear contract,” according to the white paper.

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