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The Benefits of Microgrids in Remote Areas

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Most of us do not have to think about where our energy comes from. We flip the light switch and the lights come on. Some people and businesses in remote areas, however, do not have that luxury. They often have to deal with being at the end of a distribution line, where power outages are frequent and long-lasting. Others do not have a utility connection at all and would face significant installation costs to connect to the grid. The cost of connection to some remote facilities ranges from $150 thousand all the way up to $2 million for a connection in the Rocky Mountains, and that price is only for the utility connection. You still have to pay for the energy you use after the connection is made.

Remote locations like this are where microgrids can have a huge benefit.

At EnTech Solutions, we design our microgrids to generate the optimal amount of renewable energy to cover your load, fill battery energy storage systems and potentially sell back to the utilities. This not only creates clean energy, but after the initial payment, the energy created is free. In order to add resiliency to off-grid solutions, we can couple a low emission propane/natural gas generator to the microgrid to cover any intermittent gaps in renewable energy production. There can be on-going energy costs from generators, but we typically see a lower levelized cost (lifetime cost of ownership) of energy than what the utility brings. The off-grid microgrid solution will generally have a similar or lower installation price than adding utility service, as well as lower monthly operating costs.

Perhaps more importantly, the resilience of the microgrid adds a substantial, nearly unquantifiable value. Instead of having possibly miles of transmission wire between your facility and your source of energy, the microgrid may only be a few hundred feet or less from your facility. This results in less worry during the times that you need energy the most, such as during weather disasters or other types of utility interruptions. If you have an electric vehicle, that added resilience matters even more in enabling reliable transportation charging.

If you’re looking to bring energy to your remote site, or to add energy resilience, contact us at EnTech Solutions to learn how a clean energy microgrid can solve your energy challenges.