Commercial and Industrial Customers Leading the Way in Microgrid Adoption

In an article for Energy Central, Guidehouse Insights examines strategies for microgrid adoption without large government grants or other fiscal support

As costs for solar PV and energy storage continue to decline, commercial and industrial (C&I) energy customers are giving more consideration to microgrids.  

In an article for Energy Central, Peter Asmus, research director for Guidehouse Insights, says what sets this risk averse segment apart is that it is able to justify investments and microgrid deployments without government guidance or support. 

“Unlike other microgrid segments that may receive direct government support, C&I microgrids generally must stand on their own—with a little help from friends in the form of indirect incentives for the DER assets that populate microgrids,” Asmus said. “It is a lot easier to justify government help for a disadvantaged community or a military base than a profit-seeking business venture.”

In the article, Asmus outlines other trends supporting C&I microgrid growth: modular microgrids, which commoditize standard microgrid offerings that can be pieced together and reduce design and deployment costs, and energy as a service (EaaS) microgrids based on agreements in which the customer is not required to take on debt or pay out of their CAPEX budget for equipment upgrades or ongoing services.

“Wrapping a microgrid around onsite renewable generation assets may be appealing to C&I customers that also value resilience and more control over their energy supply portfolio or value their own management capabilities,” Asmus said. “A microgrid can serve as a platform to transform a regulatory burden into a technology innovation opportunity.”

Read the Energy Central Article

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