Microgrids are essential for electricity sector transformation to meet 21st Century customers and stakeholders’ performance expectations. Microgrids are establishing a new electricity framework where investor-owned utilities divide their vast territories into a distribution network of utility microgrids supported by private microgrids and resilient buildings.
This microgrid framework transformation will usher in a wave of investment in new utility services and private microgrids focused on eliminating waste, maximizing energy efficiency, resiliency, clean distributed generation, price responsive markets and grid service quality.
The resulting intelligent microgrid system creates a fully integrated service network that diagnoses and resolves problems as they arise and enables the real time exchange of information and energy between the utility and its customers. This will strongly enhance the ability of utilities to thrive in the new distributed energy era.
Microgrid performance excellence is a major stimulating result of the decade-long non-profit Galvin Electricity Initiative and its objective of demonstrating and promoting truly intelligent perfect power electricity distribution systems. This is effectively transforming the electricity sector to meet customer and stakeholder expectations for a truly sustainable integrated dynamic power system that engages customers as valued partners and power service providers.
Until now, the electricity sector has lacked an effective model for accurately defining and valuing the attributes of truly intelligent electricity distribution system investment emphasizing microgrids.
In order to achieve these tremendous opportunities and attributes, the Galvin Electricity Initiative’s Perfect Power Initiative has developed Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER). This has become the first comprehensive, consumer-centric data-driven system for designing, evaluating and significantly optimizing microgrid performance.
The program provides much more complete evaluation and guidance of the efficiency, quality, safety and reliability of microgrids than has been available until now. PEER is modeled after the LEED program for buildings and can more than double microgrid investment values. This dramatically hastens the transition to truly clean, safe and more confidently sustainable electricity systems nationwide. The program will equip all electricity stakeholders with key performance capabilities, outcomes, metrics and examples of the best microgrid practices.
The program continuously engages its members to apply, test and showcase these solutions by assisting early adopters to achieve and document their success all while establishing major business opportunities.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Building Certification Institute and the Perfect Power Initiative have now begun the formal administration of the PEER Microgrid Certification, maximizing the business opportunities to save and make money for PEER members.
The GBCI is also now offering power performance project education courses for professionals. These emphasize microgrid design and operation. The PEER education initiative integrates quality thinking and performance outcomes into the fabric of how the electricity industry must do business now.
Perfect Power Microgrids emphasizing efficient markets, idealized demand response, real-time endpoint control, and automated distribution systems are essential for energy security, innovation-enabled economic growth and the smart, more resilient infrastructure and pervasive digital society.
PEER microgrid certification leadership communities now include Naperville, Illinois, Chattanooga, Tennessee and the University of Texas in Austin.
Kurt Yeager is the vice chairman of the Galvin Electricity Initiative and the former president and CEO of the Electric Power Research Institute.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Kurt Yeager supplied The Energy Times with this executive summary of comments he planned to deliver at the Third National Conference on Microgrids in Dallas March 14-15.
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