Georgia tests cost-effectiveness and benefits of microgrids


A utility in the US has partnered with Georgia Tech to pilot integrating a microgrid with the main grid to ensure the reliability of the energy distribution system.

The microgrid will be installed at Georgia Tech and will be used by the teritiary education institution to educate professors and students on grid controllers, cybersecurity and energy economics. The microgrid is expected to be live before the end of 2019.

Georgia Power will make use the microgrid pilot to gain more insights on how smart energy management systems can interact with the grid to achieve optimal utilisation of energy.

The microgrid will include fuel cells, battery storage, diesel generators and a natural gas generator.

The system will be designed to accomodate a wide range of distributed energy resources in future, such as microturbines, solar panels and electric vehicle chargers.

The announcement follows an approval by the Georgia Public Service Commission to implement the project.

Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO for Georgia Power, said: “The Tech Square Microgrid project will give us a better understanding of the resiliency, sustainability and cost of microgrids to help develop emerging energy solutions to better serve our customers now and in the future.

“Working with Georgia Tech gives us an opportunity to drive innovation by collaborating with one of the nation’s leading research institutions while students and faculty get a firsthand learning experience on an operating power system.”

“Georgia Tech and Georgia Power have partnered together on a number of important initiatives over the years, and we are very excited about our latest collaborative effort, the new microgrid in Tech Square,” said Georgia Tech President G. P. “Bud” Peterson.