From Planes to Preserves: Oh the Places Microgrids Will Go!


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At Microgrid 2018, experts from Schneider Electric, Faith Technologies and Humboldt State University discuss microgrid possibilities. Microgrids are popping up in a variety of sectors, including airports and nature preserves.

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At Microgrid 2018, experts from Schneider Electric, Faith Technologies and Humboldt State University discussed microgrid possibilities. Microgrids are popping up in a variety of new markets and sectors, including airports and nature preserves.

Don Wingate, vice president of sales, utility solutions, at Schneider Electric, explored microgrids and the new energy landscape, as well as energy infrastructure alternatives that unlock better efficiency, sustainability and resiliency.

Mega trends are provoking a rise in energy demand, according to Wingate, and the shift is creating unprecedented change in the power industry. In fact, Wingate predicts that by 2025, traditional centralized models of energy will be complemented by a “world of distributed energy.”

And energy finance and service models are evolving to create new opportunities and open doors for microgrid adoption. For example, the traditional power purchase agreement model for distributed energy is paving the way for energy-as-a-service.

Terry Bickham, vice president of energy at Faith Technologies, covered the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve microgrid in the presentation, as well as its benefits stemming from the microgrid design and utilization.

The preserve’s microgrid includes a 65-kW microturbine, a 25-kW fuel cell, a 100-kW battery, a 60-kW natural gas generator and a 200-kW solar installation. The microgrid has three layers of control:

  • Apps, Analytics and Services: EcoStruxture MicrogridAdvisor
  • Edge Control: EcoStruxure Microgrid Operation
  • Connected Products: smart breakers, PV inverters, storage, gensets

Jim Zoellick, managing research engineer, Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University, highlighted the Redwood Coast airport renewable microgrid.

Due to climate change impacts, there is an increasing need for resiliency around critical facilities, such as airports.

The airport microgrid will serve 18 retail electric accounts, and distributions will be owned, operated and maintained by Pacific Gas & Electric. The microgrid includes a 7 acre, 2.225-MW photovoltaic solar array and a 2 MW/8 MWh-battery energy storage system. 

Benefits of the microgrid include greater resiliency in times of disaster, energy cost savings, local jobs and more.

Explore some of today’s most innovative microgrids by downloading this Microgrid 2018 presentation.

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