Thursday, January 16, 2014

How to Make a Microgrid

I've been reading about, sometimes writing about, and occasionally extolling the many virtues of microgrids for some time now.  I even remember when, shortly after starting this blog, I was at a DOD energy gathering at NDU in 2008 or 2009 I think.

This perky bald guy in the row behind me said, kind of like in the movie The Graduate: "the future is microgrids." I could be wrong, but I believe that hairless wonder was Army O-6 and future DOD Energy Blogger Dan Nolan himself.  (I'll get my fact checker on that just in case.)

Since then we've copiously covered the SPIDERS program, as well as the great secure microgrid work at Naval District Washington.

Flash forward to yesterday when I came across Stuart McCafferty's "Top 6 Things to Consider When Developing Microgrids." The title says 6 but altogether it's more like 50 or 60 questions - born of his hands-on project management experience - you need to answer before moving forward.

Out of all of them the first two resonate the strongest with me:
Mission: What is the organization’s mission? How will a Microgrid help support the mission?
If your reasons for building a microgrid aren't directly related to supporting the mission, then what the heck are you doing?  Everyone's free to build their own microgrid after work on their own dime, but if you're building one at a DOD installation, then the connection to mission support has got to be a solid and not a dotted line.

After that the rest of the questions are about everything you need to think about beforehand to do it right.  For the full article click HERE.

And by the way, here's a piece on an early stage USMC microgrid project at Miramar Air Station in San Diego, where energy assurance is the major mission driver.

Image courtesy of National Defense Magazine


sunnymen said...

This perky bald guy in the row behind me said, kind of like in the movie The Graduate

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