In an article for GreenBiz, Navigant Research explores how utilities are investing in microgrids
Utilities are at a crossroads between centralized generation and distributed energy resources (DER), with microgrids offering the ability to transform DER into systems that offer resiliency services outside of traditional service offerings. As a result, many utility companies are investigating what role these microgrids can play in the energy market.
In an article for GreenBiz, Peter Asmus, research director at Navigant Research, explores the innovative and strategic ways that utility companies are investing in microgrids.
“Microgrids are inching their way into the mainstream, although the majority are deployed by non-utility vendors for third parties. However, growing interest and regulatory support for community microgrids and microgrids designed to bolster the overall distribution system are opening the door for utilities to play a larger and undefined role,” said Asmus.
Asmus cited the work Duke Energy has done with microgrids as a blueprint for other utility companies.
“[The company] has discovered microgrid projects types that pass regulatory muster from a regulated business model while also providing strategic capital through its unregulated business ventures for new energy as a service microgrid business models,” he said.
According to the article, a successful microgrid strategy requires buy-in throughout the company along with a willingness to think creatively and take calculated risks. Therefore, Asmus added, it may make sense to invest in microgrid opportunities under both a regulated and unregulated business model.