“The U.S. has pockets of poor power quality scattered across the country, as well as a structure of behind-the-meter markets for distributed energy resources that favors microgrids,” said Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “The latter has stimulated creative aggregation possibilities at the retail level of power service. Instead of being driven by grid operators or municipal utilities, which is the case in Europe, the microgrid market in the United States is customer-driven.”
The first U.S. state moving forward with a policy program to promote microgrids is Connecticut, which is responding to a pair of extreme weather events, according to the report: Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011 and a rare blizzard that hit the East Coast in October 2011. Both events led to massive power outages. This effort — which has authorized construction of up to 27 microgrid sites as of early 2013 — is supported by an initial grant and loan program of $15 million.
Publication date: 7/22/2013