The objective of this project is to design a novel architecture and methodology to securely integrate microgrid assets in a way that enables rapid upscaling of energy supply and distribution, and energy assurance during disasters or extended outages, but allows for reducing capital costs and economical management of energy sources and loads during non-peak times.
Using conventional power distribution, generation, and control equipment already prevalent in the industry, S&C Electric Company will work with National Guard Readiness Center sites to design a highly flexible microgrid architecture and develop a methodology (e.g., operation modes, specifications, configurations, and asset deployment) to optimize the best long-term value for the installation.
Current design approaches for microgrids prepare custom infrastructure design unique to each installation as well as specify generation asset sizes which are unique to each application. Further, each microgrid project prepares a unique set of specifications for generation assets which is tailored to the project. While resulting in an optimized infrastructure for each installation, the capital costs are generally higher than desired, especially when the generation assets costs can be 50% or more of the total project capital cost.
A key goal of this project is to reduce capital costs through the use of a hybrid design which incorporates both fixed and temporary generation assets, where fixed assets are included in the installation microgrid project capital cost structure and temporary assets are pooled as part of a separate asset procurement capital cost program. Temporary assets will be evaluated on the basis of regional availability and state-specific availability.
In addition, this project will design for resilience by utilizing the existing medium-voltage distribution network. This design, as compared to individual building backup generation, allows for more efficient generator operation and maintenance as well as a higher degree of resiliency in the case of generator failures.