The case for making microgrids mainstream
The neighborhoods surrounding a Washington D.C. park, Crispus Attucks Park, want to wire their park.
They want to wire the block-long park with electricity so they could run a lawnmower, maybe bring out a band on a hot summer night, or install a few power outlets so residents could recharge an iPad while they hang out.
This had turned out to be a not-so-easy undertaking. In order to do so with the local energy utility, it would cost somewhere in the range of $55,000. Another option: install a microgrid. There is a problem though, aside from the cost.
Microgrids do exist in the world today. However, most of them are either extraordinarily small — tiny systems running a couple of lights for a few hours in a few dozen homes in rural areas of Africa or India where the electrical grid doesn’t go — or extremely large and complex, like the microgrids that help big institutions like the University of California at San Diego or Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada integrate megawatts of solar power to serve a population the size of a small city. Crispus Attucks Park, like most neighborhoods, falls in the extremely broad middle between these two extremes.
The middle ground the author refers to is exactly where Nextek Power Systems fits in. We design and implement microgrid systems for buildings and businesses, affording users in this large segment of the market the efficiency and cost savings of a direct current power system. And with our battery storage options, we can make such a system virtually independent of the AC grid.
If there are more requests like this one, for in-between-sized microgrid options, we just might see the technology-and prices-fall in line with the energy production and storage needs.