A microgrid is an electrical distribution network with underground wires that serves two or more buildings in a local area. Microgrids can enter ‘island mode’ and separate from the larger electrical grid when there is a major outage – self supplying with locally generated energy.
You may have seen the recent announcement regarding the activation of two microgrids built through a private public partnership – a public safety headquarters and correctional facility in Montgomery County, MD. These microgrids were built to be resilient in the event of grid outages and to reduce emissions, with no upfront costs for the County (for more information see this International District Heating Association piece). The MIT Enterprise Forum CleanTech committee was lucky enough to get an “up close and personal” preview of how this model works with a tour of Boston One – an energy-as-a-service microgrid – at Schneider Electric’s US Headquarters in Andover, MA. We liked what we saw and heard.