This white paper provides a synopsis of many elements of microgrid component technologies and system configurations that can subsequently be used for an “advanced microgrid” development activity. The paper offers a compilation of microgrid status, advanced microgrid goals and requirements, new challenges and opportunities, tools for designs, and tools to strengthen infrastructure and standards activities. It complements workshop reports and information provided by OE's Smart Grid R&D Program and other microgrid conference proceedings.
With their grid-interconnectivity advantages, advanced microgrids will improve system energy efficiency and reliability and provide enabling technologies for grid-independence to end-user sites. The value of microgrids to protect the nation’s electrical grid from power outages is becoming increasingly important in the face of the increased frequency and intensity of events caused by severe weather. Advanced microgrids will serve to mitigate the economic impacts of power disruptions and will contain all the essential elements of a large-scale grid. These elements include the ability to balance electrical demand with sources, schedule the dispatch of resources, and preserve grid reliability. An advanced microgrid will also be able to interact with, connect to, and disconnect from another grid.