Microgrids: The Alternative to Aging Grids and Blackouts

Posted by Dalkia Aegis on Oct 13

Blackouts and fires are crippling California.

So far this year, state wildfires have burned 3.1 million acres, killed 12 people and destroyed nearly 4,000 structures. Six of the top 20 largest wildfires in California history have occurred this year alone, worsening the tough strain facing the state’s power infrastructure.

In recent weeks, California has also endured rolling blackouts whose exact cause remains to be determined, but may have been influenced by a perfect storm of historic heatwave, high demand, low supply and aging equipment.

Infrastructure is Crumbling

With climate change being an ongoing challenge for the foreseeable future, power outages are likely to continue. And as Popular Science recently pointed out, recent severe weather from Tropical Storm Isaias caused wide-spread blackouts on the East Coast.

“As climate change progresses and infrastructure crumbles, such blackouts may become more common… utilities might be ill-prepared to take on the dual challenge of responding to intensifying weather events and upgrading aging facilities.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers, which gave the nation’s power infrastructure a D+ grade, suggests new approaches. “Local solutions, such as distributed generation and resilient microgrids, may offer lower-cost alternatives to major system investments particularly in areas at elevated risk from severe weather or other natural disasters.”

The Microgrid Solution

Awareness of the benefits of microgrids is spreading. Coincidentally, major business players like Google and others pressed California just before the rolling blackouts to accelerate the commercial availability of microgrids in the state.

“Google believes that extensive development of microgrids will be essential in the coming years, not only to enhance the resilience of the electric system, but also to reduce its impact on the environment,” a company statement said.

Reliable Power Through CHP

Microgrids powered solely by renewables can face challenges in extreme weather, or when sun and wind are low or absent. Aegis designs and manufactures a microgrid solution that incorporates Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-certified, natural gas-powered Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems into an overall strategy that includes renewable energy.

Our microgrid systems provide your facility with dependable power and free you from aging electrical grids during blackouts and other emergencies. CHP delivers more, too, operating at 85% efficiency versus the 30% of traditional sources, and cutting your facility’s emissions at a time when carbon restrictions are being imposed across the country.

By producing power onsite, our CHP and microgrid systems also eliminate the transmission and distribution losses that occur when electricity flows through power lines. All in all, it’s a solution for the increasing challenges facing facilities and our power supply.

Are you ready to get off the grid? Contact us to get started with a free energy analysis.

Topics: Blog