Reports, Presentations, and Videos
GreenBiz webinar sponsored by Hitachi Microgrids.
(13 Dec., 2016) This one-hour webinar provides a primer on microgrids for sustainability executives — from companies, universities and municipalities — focusing on the tools and knowledge to assess when a microgrid is the right solution for an organization. WATCH VIDEO
Learn about the potential of community microgrids in this new short course. (September 2016)
Microgrid Institute teamed 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
Establishing an economic foundation for consumer energy resilience (PDF download)
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.
Keeping up with innovation in energy technology and customer needs
June 16, 2015: ABA Committee teleconference included presentations from Microgrid Institute and the New York State Smart Grid Consortium (NYSSG) addressing evolution in electricity distribution services and microgrids. (Moderated by Roger Feldman of Andrews Kurth.)
Trends and Opportunities for States and Communities
Presentation: NASEO 2015 Energy Outlook Conference (Feb. 4, 2015)
(3.7 MB PDF download)
Working guide to project evaluation methodologies, criteria, and other resources (Updated February 2015).
This report presents the results of more than two years of research, development, and testing. Project results showed that a multi-zone microgrid control approach – managing distributed solar photovoltaics (PV), energy storage systems, and gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) units in several independently islanding sub-systems – can effectively ensure the availability of resilient energy supplies in Mid-Atlantic communities.
Organized in four volumes, the 160-page report details technical design and configuration considerations for multi-zone microgrid systems; analysis of test results; and examination of regulatory and financial options for public-purpose microgrids.
The report was produced by a project team comprised of the following organizations:
The microgrid control system was built on Green Energy Corp’s open-source GreenBus distributed energy resource control platform. The project included development and integration of GreenBus applications to support system interoperability; low-latency messaging and secure transport; and customizable data automation and control capabilities. The GreenBus platform enabled development of a microgrid control architecture that includes multiple zones capable of autonomous operation.
The report, titled Microgrid optimized resource dispatch for public-purpose resiliency and sustainability, is publicly available via the following permalink:
By Michael T. Burr and Jeffrey Domanski
(23 Jan., 2017) San Francisco: When community leaders consider investments in sustainability, resilience, and smart infrastructure, they face a dilemma. Immediate priorities drive a focus on meeting short-term needs, but strategic objectives often require a big-picture outlook.Illustrative examples are found in the sustainable energy sector.
In one case, a clean-energy marketing firm offered to a municipality a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) that would reduce its electricity costs by 15 percent while meeting its 20 percent renewable energy goal. The town conducted a competitive procurement, found the offer to be the lowest-priced option, and entered the contract. Later, however, town leaders realized that the sole-source, take-or-pay contract effectively foreclosed other opportunities to reduce costs, including energy conservation measures and the opportunity to participate in a community solar garden. READ MORE (offsite)
New Paltz Microgrid
Project Brief - 2-page handout (PDF)
Project Team Qualifications - 2-page handout (PDF)
Project Public Presentation - 20-slide presentation (PDF)
Project Brief - 1-page handout (PDF)
These projects are made possible by grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) under the NY Prize Community Grid Competition.
Minnesota CHP Stakeholder Engagement
The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources, engaged Microgrid Institute to support a CHP stakeholder engagement process as part of the state's effort to increase energy efficiency in Minnesota. Among deliverables produced for this project, Microgrid Institute prepared several policy brief documents, and sythesis/summary reports.
Synthesis Report: CHP Action Plan Comment Period
Microgrid Institute June 30, 2015 report summarizes and synthesizes stakeholder comments submitted to Minnesota Department of Commerce during the Draft CHP Action Plan Comment Period, March 30 through May 15, 2015.
CHP Stakeholder Engagement Process:
Options, Outcomes, and Recommendations
FINAL REPORT synthesizes comments and findings in the Minnesota CHP Stakeholder Engagement Process and provides recommendations for development of a CHP Action Plan. (February 2015).
Outcomes from the four meetings hosted by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources in late 2014:
CHP Market and Policy Briefs
Elements of Standby Rate Design
Policy brief document on utility standby service pricing and policies, distributed at CHP Stakeholder Meeting #2 (Sept. 3, 2014).
CHP and State Portfolio Standards
Summarizing various state policy approaches to CHP, including energy efficiency standards, renewable energy targets, and alternative portfolio standards (Sept. 24, 2014).
CHP in Minnesota:
Technical & Economic Potential
Baseline & Value Proposition
Energy Policy Context
Minnesota Department of Commerce Project Website
This project was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
Maryland 'Resiliency through Microgrids' Task Force
Microgrid Institute 'Roadmap' Comments, April 3, 2014
"A singularly important role for policymakers in Maryland is to establish policy goals and regulatory frameworks that foster innovation in serving local energy requirements – not only with microgrids, but with a full range of demand-side services."
Barriers, Opportunities, and Pathways
Toward Energy Assurance
Microgrid Institute study for the
Minnesota Department of Commerce
Division of Energy Resources
Sept. 30, 2013.
The Division of Energy Resources commissioned the Microgrid Institute Team to perform a study and prepare a report identifying regulatory barriers and opportunities for microgrid development. The study specifically considers energy assurance and renewable energy integration, with a policy roadmap to facilitate microgrid development.
Utility 2.0 and the Dynamic Microgrid
Superstorm disruption calls for a new utility architecture
Mani Vadari, Modern Grid Solutions, and Gerry Stokes, Brookhaven National Laboratory
With advanced distribution technologies, grid architecture is starting to change in fundamental ways. Distributed energy resources, combined with smart grid technologies, set the stage for dynamic microgrids to emerge and bring a new level of system resilience and efficiency. (November 2013)
An Integrated 21st-Century Solution
Michael J. Zimmer and Elissa E. Welch, Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, December 2013
Economy of Small
How microgrids went from unlikely to inevitable
Michael Burr, Microgrid Institute
Energy microgrids have emerged as more than just a curiosity. The technology is improving, costs are falling, and developers are lining up to build projects. How will microgrids overcome the substantial challenges that stand in their way? The answer is as varied as the customers they're being designed to serve. (May 2013)
Strategy & Mission
Microgrid Institute is a collaborative organization that focuses on key issues affecting microgrids and distributed energy resources (DER) around the world. Our efforts address market development and analysis, regulatory and financial models, and project feasibility and structuring.
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 microgrid and DER projects; and contributing knowledge, insight, and leadership to project development processes.