Energy-as-a-Service Innovations Support Modular Microgrid Trend

In an article for Microgrid Knowledge, Guidehouse says modular microgrids and energy-as-a-service are leading the counter movement toward a more scalable approach in the utilities industry

Although the majority of microgrid capacity deployed in the future will still follow the customized, on-site sustainable energy system model that meets the exact needs of the host site, there is a counter movement that instead embraces a more modular approach.

In an article for Microgrid Knowledge, Peter Asmus, research director at Guidehouse Insights, says customers are moving closer to a plug-and-play model with streamlined design and delivery of microgrids.

“This trend away from complexity and intense customization for every microgrid enables more standardized financing because portfolios of similarly scaled microgrids address the perceived risks inherent in one-off projects.,” Asmus said. “This standardization enables a more attractive value proposition to the financial community looking for scale, albeit in a different form than utility-scale solar or wind farms.”

The article explains that this trend sets the stage for new energy-as-a-service (EaaS) offerings in the microgrid space. As with the trend that grew rooftop solar photovoltaics systems in the past with no-money-down solar leasing offers, more vendors are embracing various forms of EaaS across global markets.

“The primary EaaS innovations in North America in 2021 focus on commercial and industrial (C&I) customers,” Asmus said. “Even though these customers typically have available capital, they do not necessarily want to take on the risks of project performance and ongoing management of microgrids.”

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