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Neighborhood Virtually-Enabled Microgrids (NVEM)

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John Benson's picture
Senior Consultant, Microgrid Labs

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Microgrid Labs, Inc. Advisor: 2014 to Present Developed product plans, conceptual and preliminary designs for projects, performed industry surveys and developed...

  • Member since 2013
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  • Sep 14, 2021

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I frequently write about microgrids, and also about renewable energy sources at all scales. None of the existing neighborhood microgrid concepts really makes the two major benefits of microgrids widely available. These benefits are:

•             Lower-electric costs

•             Higher electric resiliency

In considering various concepts, I believe I have identified a potential method of doing this as described in this paper.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 14, 2021

If there were specific pockets of neighborhoods popping up with this design, I wonder that would impact who came and went living in those homes. Would it attract people specifically for the microgrids? Would people who didn't see the benefit and only felt they were getting costs be more likely to move? 

John Benson's picture
John Benson on Sep 14, 2021

Thanks for the comment, Matt.

By the way, I've been communicating with a manager in my local Community Choice Aggregator. (CCA).

The potential positive benefit for my primary residence (Livermore) were as stated in the intro: lower costs. Livermore already has very reliable power (undergrounding projects aside). Arnold doesn't have that level of reliability, and is subject to Public Safety Power Shutoffs, so it might add that benefit, but it doesn't have a local CCA that I'm aware of.  

I think the major benefits for a grid as a whole might be: keeping renewable power within a given neighborhood, and thus reducing load on the larger grid, and increasing the payback for people that add distributed power to their residences / facilities, thus increasing the volume of owners that do this.

If the CCAs bite on this concept (just nibbles so far), there is a long process to go through with zillions of stake-holders (remember, I live in California), and who knows what might emerge.


John Benson's picture
Thank John for the Post!
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