Microgrids: reliable power in a small package

Photo of Chris Marnay (left) and Ryan Firestone
February 2003

EETD scientists are helping to develop a new approach to power generation in which a cluster of small, on-site generators serves office buildings, industrial parks, and homes. Called a microgrid, the system could help shoulder the nation's growing thirst for electricity—estimated to jump by almost 400 gigawatts by 2025—without overburdening aging transmission lines or building the 1,000 new power plants required to meet this demand. And it may make statewide blackouts a thing of the past, or at least ensure that service to critical equipment is maintained.