A micro-grid is a local grid. That means that energy generation occurs locally (no giant transmission lines) to support local energy demand, and it has the option to operate independently from a traditional regional power grid. These kinds of grids are attractive because they can take advantage of growing renewable energy infrastructure like rooftop solar, and they can create resiliency against regional grid failures, which are becoming increasingly frequent with the climate change-related uptick of extreme weather events.
But wouldn’t utility companies, whose revenue is generated from conventional grid use, and who control more than 99% of the nation’s electricity supply, use their enormous lobbying weight to prevent the proliferation of microgrids?
Not necessarily, according to Cecilia Klauber, an engineer working on the security and resilience of power system infrastructure at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Cecilia provides a business case for why regional utility companies might want to invest in microgrid infrastructure, and explains how the growing microgrid network across the US will provide energy resiliency and reliability for both energy providers and users. Stay tuned!