According to its findings, Navigant Research states that global microgrid capacity has reached 16,552MW in the fourth quarter of 2016.In its study analysing the global adoption of microgrids ‘Microgrid Deployment Tracker 4Q16,’ the research firm found that 1,681 new microgrid projects were registered in 2016.
Of the new 1,681 new microgrid projects, 95% are being deployed in North America and the Asia-Pacific.
The North America region holds 54% of the global microgrid capacity. Utilities' deployment of microgrid projects continue to lead other segments including community, institutional/campus and military.
The US leads all countries in terms of both capacity and the total number of microgrid projects.
The report is Navigant Research’s 11th edition tracking microgrid projects under planning and deployment.
Solar microgrid capacity
Energy capacity from solar microgrids has grown from last year’s level to reach over 2GW by this quarter. Of the new microgrid projects registered this year, solar-based generated energy capacity of up to 203GW.
The projects introduced this year include a 100MW energy storage project in Andhra Pradesh, India, 83 MW of solar PV and energy storage in Imperial Valley, California and an 80 MW diesel, solar and energy storage system in Australia.
The Asia-Pacific region leads the global microgrid market for under-development and proposed projects due to the Chinese microgrid programme which is expected to come online by 2020.
Utility microgrid deployment
The release of the report on global deployments of microgrids follows an announcement made by Duke Energy Carolinas of connecting its Mount Holly experimental microgrid as the first connection to its distribution grid.
The microgrid will be used to regulate voltage as well as improve power quality on the Rankin Substation circuit in Mount Holly and will also serve to smooth power production from a 1.2MW rooftop solar plant which Duke Energy installed at the nearby National Gypsum plant in 2010. [New microgrid tech allows for peer-to-peer energy sharing].
In addition to connecting its Mount Holly lab to the grid, Duke Energy will also build an additional battery storage at the site which will likely be completed in the first half of next year.
Image credit: www.missioncriticalservice.com.