Take the New NREL Survey about Microgrid Costs

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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is seeking participants to take an online microgrid survey for the second phase of its cost study funded by the Department of Energy (DOE).

microgrid survey

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Working closely with the industry to get street-level intelligence, NREL is undertaking the research to better define microgrid costs. The research team also is looking at barriers to microgrid development and hopes to find potential solutions.

In the first phase of the study NREL gathered cost data from 83 microgrids in the US. The results, recently posted here, found significant cost variability, even among microgrids with similar characteristics.

Community microgrids had the lowest mean cost among those analyzed at $2.1 million/MW of distributed energy resources installed. Next came utility microgrids at $2.5 million/MW and campus microgrids at $3.3 million/MW. Commercial microgrids cost the most at $4 million/MW.

The study found that conventional and renewable generation tend to be the largest contributor to microgrid cost. The research also indicated a possible economy of scale in projects larger than 10 MW.

For the second phase, the team is focusing on barriers to microgrid development. NREL hopes to find the most significant barriers so that the industry, DOE and regulators can concentrate on seeking ways to overcome them.

The research team encourages microgrid developers or anyone with an active role in the microgrid industry to take the survey by October 31. The microgrid survey can be found here.

Those that participate will receive a pre-published summary of results. The results also will be discussed at a workshop to be held on December 6 at NREL’s campus in Golden, Colorado.

More details are available by contacting Francisco Flores, NREL energy analyst, Francisco.Flores@nrel.gov; or Sam Koebrich, NREL researcher, Sam.Koebrich@nrel.gov.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. 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.