Although the engineering behind a microgrid can be elaborate, the overall goal is simple: combine the optimal mix of proven sustainable technologies and reliable operations so customers benefit from an energy system that is cost-effective and sustainable.
From a technology perspective, a microgrid is a connected network of distributed, clean-power assets, operating independently or hand-in-hand with a larger electrical grid to produce high-quality, reliable power.
In practice, each microgrid we develop, own and operate is as unique as the customer it benefits. Examples include:
- Adding battery storage to an existing photovoltaic solar array. This simple enhancement is a microgrid, which aids a solar system's reliability
- Blending back-up and integrated redundant power supply systems. This can include a solar array, a gas-turbine powered combined-heat-and-power plant (CHP), water storage and a thermal battery with backup generators
Regardless of the size or components, a microgrid is an integrated system, often using intelligent software controls to seamlessly integrate distributed energy generation resources (solar, wind, base load power) with a customer's energy demand.
The benefits of a microgrid can be as numerous and varied as the unique microgrid configurations themselves:
- Risk Reduction — with close proximately between supply and load, some of the deliverability risk associated with many utility systems and long-haul transmission is reduced
- Increase Cost Controls — microgrid solutions can enable customers to manage their energy commodity cost exposure
- Cutting-Edge Technology — the microgrids are comprised of the latest technology, including power electronics control mechanisms and software
- Reliable Operations — NRG supports the custom microgrid solution with a customer-focused mindset and long-term operations and maintenance support