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  • Writer's pictureGrace Tobin

What is a Microgrid?

Through recent years, there has been a push across all industries to become energy independent. The use of independent energy generation assets, or microgrids, can help companies cut back on energy costs, increase energy dependability, and cut down on global emissions.

When it comes to running a large-scale operation, the decision to invest in energy infrastructure via microgrid technology becomes a no-brainer.

What is a microgrid?

A microgrid is a self-sufficient, uniquely crafted collection of renewable energy assets that allows for independence from the main grid.

The use of a microgrid gives the freedom to be energy independent, whether it's for a manufacturing plant in a town located miles away from the nearest highway or a hospital located in a major city. In either case, a microgrid will allow those facilities that utilize a lot of energy to be self-sustaining and, in most cases, see lower energy bills.

Microgrids create energy using completely renewable resources. Each grid is engineered by GridSwitch custom to the needs and goals of each company that we work with. Sticking with our previous example, a plant in the mountains with 4 acres of land will require a much different layout and set of assets than a city-based hospital working with no open land.

No matter the configuration of solar panels, wind turbines, or hydro-based assets, the principles remain the same. Microgrids will add that "green" element by reducing emissions.

Are there different types of microgrids?

There are three types of microgrids, all used to achieve their unique purposes: remote microgrids, grid connected microgrids, and networked microgrids. Our team at GridSwitch can help you decide which grid would be the right fit for your company.

1. Remote Microgrids

Remote microgrids are grids that are not connected to the main power grid in any way. This means that energy generation is fully independent. This would work well for a company whose biggest goal is to lower energy costs.

2. Grid Connected Microgrids

Grid connected microgrids are grids that are still connected to the main grid, giving them the option to switch between the main grid and its own generation. For a company looking for guaranteed uptime, this would do the trick. This setup also offers the option for the owner of the microgrid to sell energy back to the main grid.

3. Networked Microgrids

Networked microgrids are created by connecting multiple microgrids to each other, which allows for a wider range of power capacity. Powering communities or 'smart cities' could be done using networked grids.

Why are microgrids necessary?

Picture this: You're the owner of a manufacturing plant that operates 24/7. Each day, you're bringing in $10k in revenue every single day. A storm hits the area and knocks the main grid out for 4 days, leaving you with no ability to continue operations until the main grid is resolved. Not only are you losing $40k in revenue, but you're at the mercy of the main grid going back online.

At GridSwitch, our microgrids are independently managed 24/7, meaning that we are fully prepared to handle storms and get you back online much quicker than the main grid would.

So why are microgrids necessary? Because your operations are necessary. Your power should be the last of your concerns, and an independent grid helps to achieve that confidence.

Are there any other benefits of microgrids?

Microgrids are able to to store the excess power to use later. They use anything from solar panels to water sources to generate power, which means the use of a microgrid will continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with every grid in use.

For example, remote microgrids continue to be the best way to get developing countries connected to electricity.

Besides that, continued efficiency, more reliable uptimes, independent management, lower costs all in... We could go on forever. If you're interested in more information regarding the upside of a microgrid, click here.

How do you get your own microgrid?

A company like GridSwitch will analyze your needs and goals. From there, we will work with you to design exactly what you need.

The best part: We finance the whole thing for you. All you do is continue to pay your monthly energy bill.

Get started turning your company's energy generation over to a new leaf here!

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