Piller Power executive: Reliability drives microgrid adoption in new sectors

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In an interview with Elisa Wood during Microgrid 2022, Dean Richards, president and CEO of Piller Power Systems, explains why microgrids and the reliability they provide are becoming increasingly important to a growing number of industries.

Energy independence is one of the primary reasons that a growing number of sectors are turning to microgrids, according to Dean Richards, president and CEO of Piller Power Systems. Richards recently sat down with Microgrid Knowledge’s Editor-in-Chief Elisa Wood to discuss how the war in Ukraine, rising fuel prices and a host of other global trends are impacting microgrid deployment.

“I think the microgrid sector is still seen as emerging. However, there have been microgrids in deployment for many, many years,” Richards says. What’s new, according to Richards, is how many people are talking about them. “Whether it’s climate change, wars, inflation — they’re all making microgrids become more prominently discussed.”

Richards says that data centers and the military are two of the biggest areas where he’s seeing movement around microgrids. “A term in the microgrid sector is resilience. In the mission-critical sector, reliability is a big term because the critical load, whatever that may be, can never have any disruption of power, whether that’s quality or whether that’s an interruption.” Richards adds that it’s the security of having your own reliable supply of on-site power generation that’s driving the microgrid conversation.

“Everyone knows in the US that the grid is old and, yes, it will get regenerated, but it can’t regenerate at the pace that we need to see it go. So microgrids will play big into that,” Richards says.

Richards also discusses how a microgrid’s ability to optimize distributed energy resources is a key benefit of the technology. “Optimizing all these resources to work together is really key,” he says.

Finally, Richards talks about the importance of proving the microgrid concept through modeling. Modeling shows how the technology will meet a customer’s operational needs and sustainability goals, according to Richards.

Learn more about how the microgrid market is changing by viewing Microgrid 2022: Microgrids as Climate Heroes. Videos of each session will be available for free as part of the Microgrid Knowledge video library

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