Microgrids and energy storage improve electric reliability. So it was perplexing to see how little attention they received in a major study on grid reliability issued this week by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Businesses, communities and institutions across the country have stepped up installation of microgrids in recent years to ensure power supply when the central grid fails. Since Superstorm Sandy, states have dedicated at least $200 million for microgrid installations. And in 2016, alone, utilities put up at least $1.2 billion to pursue microgrids and related distributed energy.
Yet the federal government mentioned microgrids only twice – and briefly – in its 181-page”Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability.” Energy storage did a bit better with three paragraphs and a chart.
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