The Five Dimensions of Microgrids
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- May 5, 2020 3:19 pm GMTMay 5, 2020 3:18 pm GMT
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A few weeks ago I posted a two part series on PG&E’s likely reorganization details. One of these details is how they intend to mitigate the Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) used to reduce the chances of sparking additional wildfires. Although there were multiple actions to do this, the primary strategy for remote parts of their service territory was a series of 20 microgrids. These will allow long stretches of transmission line to be de-energized while keeping the remote consumers powered.
The details on these microgrids are pretty fluid at this point (as the phase-one project funding for these is initially being processed by the CPUC), as any good microgrid engineer would understand.
One of the most powerful abilities of microgrids is to scale over a wide range of applications. Since PG&E is involving the communities using these in design decisions, the specifics for each microgrid will not be firm until the individuals serviced by each of these and other stake-holders have had a chance to make their inputs.
This post is on the five dimensions of flexibility, not the details of microgrid design and integration which were covered by earlier posts. It is also specific to microgrid applications similar to the PG&E Microgrids. The five dimensions are:
- Facility / grid-segment size supported by the microgrid
- Level of service provided to each consumer with the microgrid
- Sustainability of the energy sources used by the consumers
- Evolution-stage as the microgrid is implemented
- Realization of different functions that benefit different consumers