What is a Microgrid?
A microgrid is a small-scale power grid that can operate independently or in conjunction with the area's main electrical grid. Any small-scale localized station with its own power resources, generation and loads and definable boundaries qualifies as a microgrid.
Most microgrids can be further described by one of five categories:
- Off-grid microgrids including islands, remote sites, and other microgrid systems not connected to a local utility network.
- Campus microgrids that are fully interconnected with a local utility grid, but can also maintain some level of service in isolation from the grid, such as during a utility outage. Typical examples serve university and corporate campuses, prisons, and military bases.
- Community microgrids that are integrated into utility networks. Such microgrids serve multiple customers or services within a community, generally to provide resilient power for vital community assets.
- District Energy microgrids that provide electricity as well as thermal energy for heating (and cooling) of multiple facilities.
- Nanogrids comprised of the smallest discrete network units with the capability to operate independently. A nanogrid can be defined as a single building or a single energy domain.
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