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Utilities across the United States, including several electric cooperatives, are implementing microgrids to enhance resiliency, particularly with critical loads like military bases and medical campuses, integrate renewables, and facilitate demand response.
A microgrid is essentially a power system that is detached from the main electric grid either full time or for a specific period or event, like an outage. It has a source of generation (fossil fuels, renewables, storage), a means of distribution, and a control platform that manages generation to cost effectively meet load and keep the system stable.
“Every microgrid is custom designed,” says Venkat Banunarayanan, NRECA’s vice president of integrated grid. “Nothing is off-the-shelf.”