Reliable, affordable energy is the backbone of a thriving community. As communities grow, energy needs increase. This demand creates costly “load pockets” — areas where the existing transmission infrastructure cannot meet community demand. Community microgrids are designed to eliminate costly load pockets, helping local families and businesses prosper.
Community microgrids are also referred to as “non-transmission alternatives” because they minimize the need for costly investments in overhead transmission lines. Instead, microgrids provide a real-time interface with the surrounding macrogrid, helping communities achieve further cost savings by producing and selling energy to the macrogrid on a business basis.
With a community microgrid, regional growth is no longer hindered by costly load pockets. Entire communities can achieve a higher quality of life for residents, while creating an economic climate that attracts and retains business.
“New transmission lines are often needed when the transmission capacity serving a region becomes ‘congested’ – so fully utilized that it cannot sufficiently or economically serve load…[non-transmission alternatives] face fewer obstacles than new transmission lines, such as the potential for lower costs or shorter implementation timeframes.”
— U.S. Department of Energy
- Community microgrids help solve costly load pockets– minimizing the need to build costly overhead transmission lines.
- Community microgrids spur economic growthwith additional energy capacity and affordability.
- Microgrids empower communities to produce or sell energy into the surrounding macrogrid based on real-time economic conditions, achieving significant energy savings.
- Microgrids can offer communities vulnerable to power outages the resiliencythey need to continue functioning throughout extreme weather events.
- Through the use of distributed energy resources that promote clean energy, microgrids can achieve environmental policy objectivesand reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Communities that adopt microgrids will be seen as environmental leaders, deploying renewables that are in line with state policies and programs like the NY-Sun Solar Initiative.