Excerpted from Microgrid Knowledge, January 26, 2017, with permission for the April 2017 issue of electroindustry.
Elisa Wood, Chief Editor, MicrogridKnowledge.com
Hundreds of avoidable power failures occur each year, costing the U.S. economy between $25 and $70 billion annually, according to the blueprint proposed by U.S. Senate Democrats. Microgrids keep the power flowing to their customers during power outages by islanding away from trouble on the grid and employing on-site energy. When the grid is functioning normally, microgrids supply services to strengthen grid operations and lower costs.
Including microgrids in the blueprint won praise from Rob Thornton, president and CEO of the International District Energy Association, who said that the technologies offer tremendous potential “to strengthen and modernize the grid while enhancing economic resiliency with more sustainable, secure energy services for customers.”
By way of example, he described the Boston area’s Veolia Kendall Station Green Steam CHP project, which he said generated over $21 million in direct labor investment in high quality jobs for pipe fitters, construction, electrical, and other trades while producing significant energy and environmental community benefits.