Microgrids -- areas of independently-operating electrical grid that include power generation, smart electric devices, and/or energy storage -- have historically been confined to military bases and hospitals; In short, places that need the most reliable power. Now, microgrids are an increasingly viable option for grid users seeking lower prices, more renewables, and more choice than offered by their monopoly utility. However, decades-old grid rules make arranging mullti-customer microgrids a challenge.
Here you’ll find ILSR’s original research and perspective on microgrids.
Microgrids Research Reports
March 3rd, 2016
Communities all over the country are finding ways to break the macro barriers to microgrids. As we flip from a top-down to bottom-up grid management structure, major policy barriers must be lifted in order to expand energy democracy to customers and producers.READ THE REPORT
June 12th, 2017
With our electric vehicle report hot off the presses, Microgrid Knowledge looks toward another innovative technology and how it relates to microgrids in creating a more self-reliant and renewable grid. The author pays special attention to the possibility of vehicle-to-grid relationships and interviews our own John Farrell for his perspective on changing technologies.READ MORE
October 28th, 2016
On October 18th, John Farrell delivered a keynote presentation to the annual gathering of the BioCycle Renewable Energy from Organics Recycling (REFOR16) in Orlando, Florida. In this presentation, Farrell details how microgrids are a realistic piece of our renewable energy future and the intersection of biogas and other renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind energy.READ MORE
March 28th, 2016
On Tuesday, March 15th, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance hosted a webinar titled "Breaking the Macro-Barriers to Microgrids." The webinar was led by John Farrell, the Director of ILSR's Energy Democracy initiative and Matt Grimley, the author of ILSR's report, Mighty Microgrids. The webinar was broken into two parts. The first part consisted of a presentation by John Farrell introducing the structure of the microgrids and how the enable a larger shift of the grid towards energy democracy. The second part consisted of an interview between John and Matt, where Matt answered common misconceptions around microgrids as well as fielded questionsREAD MORE
March 3rd, 2016
With the release of ILSR’s new report, “Mighty Microgrids,” ILSR is releasing two podcasts with the developers and regulators of microgrids in the United States. This is the second podcast. In 2014, Chris Villarreal helped write the white paper, Microgrids: A Regulatory Perspective. As a regulatory analyst with the California Public Utilities Commission, he outlined the regulatory questions of microgrid development at a time when the state was mulling over how to allow more distributed, renewable energy come onto the grid.READ MORE
March 3rd, 2016
Most microgrids today are single buildings that rely on diesel generators to run when the grid is out. They’re simple backup, redundant power. But some more advanced microgrids, such as the Clean Coalition’s planned community microgrids, are looking into the future, when multiple sources of generation can support a community of homes and businesses. In anticipation of the release of ILSR’s new report, “Mighty Microgrids,” ILSR is releasing two podcasts with the developers, regulators, and practitioners of microgrids in the United States today. This is the first.READ MORE