30 Sep '14, 1pm

Microgrid Economics: It Takes a Village, a University, and a Ship

For many months, I’ve struggled to model the economics of microgrids. For a set of paying customers of a homeowners’ association with 120 homes, for instance – a “load” – with daily and seasonal variations in demand, we can anticipate revenues easily enough. Understanding microgrid costs, however, involves at least two complex optimizations followed by pro forma cash flow analysis. As best I can tell, this has not been done. A microgrid typically has multiple generation sources and a battery. Some people call such systems “hybrid,” but that states the obvious, physical truth. They ought instead be described as integrated systems, since their working combination should be more than additive, and follow a well-articulated logic toward solving an objective function, for instance, production at the lowest cost; with the lowest emissions; continuous operation with quality elect...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014...

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