Microgrid’s best and brightest offering insights at PGI

Connectedness. Community. Security.

From a human point of view, those are things most humans want. This is no different when it comes to our energy desires.

Microgrids are defined as a localized, interconnected group of electricity sources, whether linked to the greater grid or in separated mode. No man is an island, it’s been said, but some grids are.

Microgrids are all the rage in this era when consumers want to feel closer to renewable energy resources, or protected should a major storm come in and destroy much of the overlying energy infrastructure (hello, Sandy, Harvey, Irma, anyone?). Microgrids are a major development, with Navigant Research forecasting that this market could become a $31 billion industry by 2027.

And POWERGEN International is becoming the industry authority on microgrid content, with no less than 11 sessions offered when the conference comes to New Orleans from November 19-21. These microgrid events will be upstairs and downstairs in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, and also cover a worldwide array of islanded and non-islanded projects.

“With the growth in the availability of affordable renewable energy and other distributed energy resources, energy consumers are more empowered than ever to use microgrids to generate and manage their consumption through active involvement in the market,” Mark Feasel, one of Schneider Electric’s key microgrid experts, said a few years back.

POWERGEN International’s approximately 10 hours of microgrid content spread out over three days will cover those renewable and energy storage elements, but also how traditional on-site power gen-set fit into the mix. The scheduled speakers include experts from Jacobs Engineering, POWER Engineers, Bechtel, S&C Electric, Bloom Energy, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, MTU Onsite Energy, ABB, Eaton. Decentralized Energy Knowledge Hub sponsor American Fire Technologies and utilities such as Duke Energy and Commonwealth Edison, among others.

The topics in the Microgrid Summit track upstairs include such issues as microgrid integration challenges, voltage and frequency control, utility-scale adoption and the role of energy storage. The Decentralized Energy Knowledge Hub on the exhibition floor will feature case studies on microgrid work in hurricane-prone areas, highlight fire dangers and protection responses, and developing or fine-tuning industry standards.

Case studies on microgrids will look intently at projects in Canada, Alaska, the U.S. mainland, the Caribbean and Mexico.

And on Wednesday, November 20, one of POWERGEN’s 90-minute Mega-sessions will focus singularly on the microgrid experience in safety, security and resiliency. Brian Miller, strategic team lead for microgrids at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will lead a panel of experts from SEL, Duke and ComEd.

Those speakers will detail use cases from the Bronzeville microgrid cluster project in the Chicago area, as well as work that Duke has done along the eastern U.S.

Microgrids, it’s what’s for POWERGEN. Click here to find out more about the industry’s leading conference on all things power generation.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and rod.walton@clarionevents.com)

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Rod Walton is Content Director for POWERGEN International and Power Engineering.

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