Navigant Launches ‘Small Grid’ Study

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Navigant Research is launching a study of small grids that it says will bring together a high-level consortium of utilities, project developers, software and hardware providers, and other key microgrid and nanogrid stakeholders.

The study follows Navigant’s forecast that worldwide revenue from utility distribution microgrids (UDMs) will grow from $1.4 billion annually in 2014 to more than $3 billion in 2023.

Major power outages caused by extreme weather, along with the spread of distributed, renewable energy resources, have set the stage for regulatory reforms that are likely to enable the strong expansion over the next decade of UDMs as well as customer-owned microgrids, according to Navigant.

“For utilities, the emergence of this dynamic market carries profound, and possibly ominous, implications, along with opportunities,” says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research and one of the leaders of the small grid study. “There is a clear need to examine the overarching architectures and related business models for microgrids if utilities are to remain relevant in an energy future characterized by diverse, distributed energy resources.”

The four-to-five month small grid study will begin in March. The goal is to provide critical insight for North American utilities and microgrid vendors and service providers.

Called “The Future of Small Scale Microgrids & Nanogrids,” the study will ask:

  • What are the most promising economic models for financially sustainable microgrids and nanogrids?
  • What are the key technologies (and key vendors) playing or emerging in the small-grid sector?
  • What are the critical deployment issues and opportunities particular to small-scale grids?
  • What are the primary microgrid/nanogrid growth drivers, markets, and segments?

More information on the small grid study is available on the Navigant Research website.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.


  1. […] Meanwhile, microgrids also are attracting new private equity. New York-based independent private equity investment firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners has committed to make $250 million available for utility distribution microgrids, or UDMs. […]