microgrid is a decentralized group of electrical generation sources and loads that normally operate connected to and synchronous with the area electrical transmission and distribution system (macrogrid). However, these electrical sources and loads can function autonomously in “island mode” as physical or economic conditions dictate.

In this way, a microgrid can effectively integrate various sources of distributed generation (DG), especially Renewable Energy Sources, and can supply emergency power, operate as an island mode or with the connected macrogrid.

A microgrid approach or architecture (see Figure 1 below) divides vast electric territories into a network of manageable customer-centric power generation nodes that meet the specific local needs and goals including:

  • Resiliency, reliability, and emergency power for island nodes for selected loads when the macrogrid power system is lost
  • Generation and procurement of renewable power to meet Net-Zero goals
  • Reduction of power costs with generation sources that provide demand and price response (see Figure 2 below)
  • Improved Power quality

Understanding Microgrids (see Figure 1 below)

What is the Microgrid Architecture?

The microgrid architecture divides the electricity system into a network of smaller nodes that serve a distinct set of customers co-located or otherwise operating as one power customer (a housing development, a large production facility, a university campus, a city, etc.) Microgrids leverage and support the bulk grid while eventually becoming capable of operating independently of the grid for resiliency.

What is a Utility Microgrid?

A utility microgrid serves a distinct subset of customers within a defined geographic or functional boundary to accelerate investment into renewable power, resiliency, and reliability.  Examples of utility microgrids include municipal utilities as well as cities and new developments served by larger public utilities.

What is a Private Microgrid?

Private microgrids own the local power and thermal distribution systems that connect or network customers and/or buildings. Private microgrids provide for islanding capability of selected loads.  Thousands of private microgrids exist at universities, medical centers, and industrial campuses across the U.S.

Figure 1: Microgrid Architecture

Figure 2: Microgrid Benefit of Demand and Price Response

Microgrid Benefit of Demand and Price Response

For more Microgrid information or a consultation contact:

Wunderlich-Malec’s experienced engineering team can help customers determine the best microgrid and mode transfer design to meet their needs. Contact John Kelly from the mGrid™ team to discuss your microgrid needs at john.kelly@wmeng.com.