With the increased focus on renewable energy, efficiency and the need to make the business case for the smart grid, a growing number of stakeholders are focusing on smart microgrids as a viable approach to grid modernization at the local level. The current industry dialogue is largely dominated with conversations of smart grids, but the Galvin Electricity Initiative has created innovative business and technology blueprints for the ultimate smart grid — the Perfect Power System. The system is a smart microgrid that meets the needs of twenty-first century consumers and provides reliable, secure electricity regardless of nature’s wrath or security threats.
Microgrids are modern, small-scale versions of the centralized electricity system. They achieve specific local goals, such as reliability, carbon emission reduction, diversification of energy sources, and cost reduction, that are established by the community being served. Like the bulk power grid, smart microgrids generate, distribute, and regulate the flow of electricity to consumers, but do so locally. Developed for a community, office park, university, military base or other entity, smart microgrids incorporate local distributed energy supplies that meet the exact needs of the constituents being served while networking with the larger grid. They feature the range of smart technology in a single location, which maximizes service quality, savings, and entrepreneurial job creation potential and thus helps produce a viable business case.