NREL Works to Improve Microgrid Projects

Dec. 31, 2014

Partnerships will help communities prepare for electrical disruptions.

Working toward their goal of commercially viable microgrid systems that can provide renewable energy in addition to emergency back-up power in case of extreme weather, the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has partnered with the Electric Power Research Institute and General Electric to test new microgrid controller technologies. The $8 million project will help to further develop the technology that will provide communities with reliable power for critical loads.

As part of the project, NREL will be testing designed microgrid controllers using power hardware-in-the-loop capability to conduct tests at full power and realistic load levels to provide an evidence-based evaluation of microgrid performance before the controllers are brought to market. The controller technology will be tested on the 200 kW microgrid inside NREL’s Energy System Integration Facility, which is powered by a wide variety of energy sources, with others being simulated to give a true assessment of the controllers’ viability.

“NREL is excited to be working with EPRI and GE to accelerate the development of microgrids that can provide a reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity supply,” says Bryan Hannegan, associate director for energy systems integration with NREL.

Considering a microgrid for your facility? It could be a great idea, some owners are seeing more reliability and less cost

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