Community power through microgrids
As the name suggests, a microgrid is a small-scale power grid.
While these systems can operate independently, they also have the ability to connect with the main electricity grid, which means they need to be able to operate on the same voltage level.
They can operate with a number of different energy sources such as solar and wind power, and usually have battery storage capabilities and a backup generator.
Unlike stand-alone power systems which are generally used for individual households, microgrids provide electricity for a whole community.
Microgrids can increase the reliability of service to isolated towns because they bring much of the energy production process closer to where the power will be used.
They reduce reliance on the grid and can also reduce network upgrade costs.
Traditionally, remote towns that have been connected to the main grid get their power via long feeder lines which are vulnerable to interference from the elements.
By storing power in batteries, microgrids are able to use most of the energy they produce.
Having the ability to connect to the main grid provides sense of comfort; knowing there is always a backup if needed.