Project Resiliency: Overcoming Barriers for Repeatable Microgrids in the United States

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2021-04-27

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Abstract

The recent blackouts in Texas and California caused by extreme weather events, such as snowstorms and wildfires, have revealed the growing burden on the national transmission system. Grid outages cost the US about $28 to $33 billion annually, with this expense growing as climate change leads to increasingly severe weather events across the globe. Microgrids, which are localized grids that can isolate from the main power grid during an outage, are key to strengthening grid resiliency, mitigating grid disturbances, and allowing faster recovery. They also accelerate the integration of distributed and renewable energy resources on the grid. This project analyzes the key barriers that hinder repeatable microgrid deployment which would enable economies of scale and thus provide cost-effective energy solutions to small scale manufacturing customers in the US. Additionally, the financial analysis and energy modeling undertaken in this study find that the participation of microgrids in energy markets is vital to deployment on a national scale. This can be achieved through uniform state-level regulation, streamlined interconnection processes, and “microgrid ready” facility infrastructure. Lastly, the risk assessment and mitigation provide a roadmap to public-private financing mechanisms for microgrid deployment.

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Leon-Hinton, Reed, Hassan Nadeem and Zukhruf Amjad (2021). Project Resiliency: Overcoming Barriers for Repeatable Microgrids in the United States. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/22631.


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