The US Energy Department has launched a new competition through which it aims to learn more about the performance and value of microgrids.
A microgrid is a local energy grid with control capability, which means it can disconnect from the traditional grid and operate autonomously. It can be powered by distributed generators, batteries and renewable sources like solar panels.
The Microgrid 2014 MVP Challenge will recognise local organisations in the US that have adopted successful grid strategies which can continue providing public services during power cuts caused by severe weather or other events.
The Department is calling on businesses with operational microgrids – such as hospitals and water treatment plants – to submit their designs and operational data such as when and how long the microgrid was disconnected from the traditional grid.
It will help the Department learn more about the performance and value of microgrids and capture practical information.
Patricia Hoffman, Assistant Secretary for the Energy Department’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability said: “This competition will help us gain a better understanding of benefits and lessons learned on how microgrids can further enhance resiliency of the nation’s grid and promote a cleaner and more efficient, cost-effective power system.”