This piece was originally published in the January/February 2019 issue of electroindustry.
In 2016, NEMA published NEMA MGRD 1-2016 Powering Microgrids for the 21st- Century Electrical System, a white paper introducing the concept of microgrids as an integral component of the power delivery system of the 21st century. Microgrids, once viewed as islanded systems of generation and load, valued mostly for their ability to disconnect from the grid and serve individual customer facilities during outages, are now seen as part of distribution system operations, interacting with the distribution grid through advanced control and distribution management systems.
The paper presents business cases, enabling technologies, a Standards analysis, and a future vision. In 2017, NEMA focused its efforts in the microgrid space on investigating government policies and regulations to achieve its vision. Research identified the top regulatory barriers facing microgrid deployment in the United States.
NEMA also looked at policy/regulatory solutions to the identified barriers. Key points addressed in the paper include:
- Value beyond their ability to assist in disaster recovery
- Enabling technologies for microgrids
- Standards gap analysis
- Regulatory barriers to microgrid deployment
NEMA MGRD 1-2016 Powering Microgrids for the 21st-Century Electrical System is available at no charge on the NEMA website.