Mission: Microgrid Institute is a collaborative organization supporting development of microgrids and distributed energy assets around the world. Our efforts address market development and analysis, regulatory and financial models, and microgrid feasibility, structuring, and deployment.
Professionals on our staff and in our networks bring a broad range of experience in the utility, independent power, industrial cogeneration, and distributed energy industries.
Staff members and collaborators on the Microgrid Institute team combine expertise in:
What We Do
Strategy: We use a multidisciplinary approach. By working with acknowledged authorities and subject-matter experts, we provide thorough and objective study and analysis. Our key goals focus on supporting market development; addressing key issues that affect microgrids and community energy projects; and contributing knowledge and insight to policy and development processes.
Partners: We work with foremost experts in their fields, including experienced attorneys, technology leaders, policy analysts, and researchers.
What Sustainability Executives Need to Know about Microgrids
Hitachi Microgrids | Microgrid Institute | GreenBiz Webinar (Dec. 13, 2016)
This one-hour webinar provides a primer on microgrids for sustainability executives — at companies, hospitals, universities, municipalities, etc. — focusing on the tools and knowledge to assess when a microgrid is the right solution for an organization. WATCH VIDEO
Microgrid Institute team begins Stage II development
Aug. 24, 2016, Albany, N.Y.: The final summary report on the New Paltz Community Microgrid feasibility assessment has been accepted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), signaling the successful completion of its NY Prize Stage I project. The project’s final Stage I report is available at the NYSERDA website here:
In August 2015, NYSERDA selected a public-private partnership led by Burr Energy LLC (dba Microgrid Institute) to assess the feasibility of developing a community microgrid in New Paltz. The project team includes the Town and Village of New Paltz, State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz, the New Paltz Central School District, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and utility partner Central Hudson Gas & Electric. Microgrid Institute led the Stage I study as prime contractor and principal investigator, with technical partners Hitachi Consulting, Green Energy Corp., and TeMIX Inc.
NYSERDA provided $100,000 for the NY Prize Stage I project. NY Prize is a first-in-the nation $40 million competition to help communities create microgrids – standalone energy systems that can operate independently in the event of a power outage. Microgrids support a new generation of community-based power under Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy and contribute to the Clean Energy Standard to have 50 percent of the State’s electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. In all, NYSERDA selected 83 community projects to receive feasibility assessment grants in the NY Prize Community Grid competition.
In consultation with the New Paltz Community, the Microgrid Institute team identified six strategic goals for the proposed microgrid:
1. Empower the community to implement its own energy strategy, as part of integrated community planning and development;
2. Improve the resiliency of services that are critical to the health, safety, and vitality of the community;
3. Increase the community’s use of local resilient renewable energy assets, and facilitate ongoing local renewable energy investment;
4. Reduce the community’s fossil energy consumption and related environmental footprint, and facilitate ongoing reductions;
5. Increase opportunities for local ownership of energy resources, keeping more energy dollars in the New Paltz economy; and
6. Support future economic development and growth by modernizing community energy infrastructure. READ MORE
Learn about the potential of community microgrids in this new short course.
Microgrid Institute teams up with HeatSpring to provide a comprehensive introduction to how community microgrids work, what problems they can solve, and how market trends are driving microgrid development. Michael focuses on three key factors affecting community microgrid development: regulatory issues, business models; and financing options. READ MORE
July 21, 2016: Microgrid Institute Director Michael Burr provides an overview of community microgrids for clean-energy stakeholders on the Olympic Peninsula, in Jefferson County, Washington. WATCH VIDEO
Regulatory and Business Models for Community Microgrids
Establishing an economic foundation for consumer energy resilience
July 28, 2015: IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting, microgrid panel moderated by Washington State University Associate Professor Anurag Srivastava. Program included presentations from Microgrid Institute, U.S. Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and National Technical University of Athens.
Program included presentations from Microgrid Institute and the New York State Smart Grid Consortium (NYSSG) addressing evolution in electricity distribution services and microgrids.
Distributed Systems for Local Resilience
At the PJM Interconnect's General Session on May 20, Microgrid Institute Director Michael Burr delivered a presentation on nested microgrids for community resilience, and led a discussion among panelists representing Alstom, Duke Energy, NYSERDA, and Princeton University. MORE
Resilience through Microgrids
Trends and Opportunities for States and Communities
Presentation: NASEO 2015 Energy Policy Outlook Conference (Feb. 4, 2015)
(3.7 MB PDF download)
A microgrid is a small energy system capable of balancing captive supply and demand resources to maintain stable service within a defined boundary.
Microgrids combine various distributed energy resources (DER) to form a whole system that's greater than its parts.
Most microgrids can be further described by one of four categories:
- Off-grid microgrids including islands, remote sites, and other microgrid systems not connected to a local utility network.
- Utility-integrated campus microgrids that are fully interconnected with a local utility grid, but can also maintain some level of service in isolation from the grid, such as during a utility outage. Typical examples serve university and corporate campuses, prisons, and military bases.
- Community microgrids that are integrated into utility networks. Such microgrids serve multiple customers or services within a community, generally to provide resilient power for vital community assets.
- Nanogrids that serve single buildings or assets, such as commercial, industrial, or residential facilities, or dedicated systems, such as water treatment and pumping stations.
Microgrids combine local energy assets, resources, and technologies into a system that's designed to satisfy the host's requirements -- which can include factors as basic as electrification, and as complex as integrating variable DERs in a balanced net-zero system. READ MORE