Microgrid Case Studies

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This section of the wiki features a compilation of microgrid case studies, showcasing some important applications for energy storage. Each analysis presented in this report is grounded in actual case studies conducted by EPRI. These case studies combine the Storage Value Estimation Tool (StorageVET®) or the Distributed Energy Resources Value Estimation Tool (DER-VET™) with other grid simulation tools and analytical methods to determine the ideal size, optimal utilization, anticipated value, and technical prerequisites for energy storage across various scenarios. The microgrid case studies are given below.

Case Studies Description Access
Microgrid Sizing for Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Events This case study focuses on the solar plus storage sizing and cost calculations on location of Southern California Edison’s service territory. The study investigates microgrid DER Sizing for 24-, 36- and 48-hour outages. The main objective of this study is to provide 100% load coverage for planned outages. The cost-benefit analysis to estimate the net present value of the designed microgrid have also been carried out. Program 94G Only
Design and Analysis of Different DER combinations for Microgrid Reliability Improvement For this study, three different scenarios were analyzed based on the DER types shown below.

Scenario 1: Diesel Generator - One generator that will serve the entire park during utility outage.

Scenario 2: Energy Storage- Stand-alone battery energy storage designed to carry entire load during outage.

Scenario 3: Energy Storage+ Energy Storage- -Combination of diesel generator and energy storage. In this case DG would cover base load and the battery would serve rest of the load during the outage. If there is excess DG generation, energy storage would charge from the DG.

Optimized Integration of Large-Scale Energy Storage into Microgrids This case study focuses on showcasing the benefits of microgrid design that incorporates large-scale energy storage. The reliability performance targets, and stacked grid services were investigated at five DoD installations, which were then incorporated into economically, viable energy storage enabled microgrids. While meeting the reliability target, the modeling goals were set to maximize stacked benefits provided by energy storage at each site. Storage systems were sized to increase the cost-effectiveness of the microgrid, compared with the diesel based microgrids. The study demonstrates that storage-enabled microgrid solutions can provide energy security, lower cost of operations, allow power market participation, and provide a positive net present value (NPV) compared to diesel-based microgrids. Additionally, microgrids with energy storage decrease the risk of critical load loss during grid outages and lower the cost of serving critical loads.

Research Overview

Microgrid case studies serve as real-world benchmarks, showcasing how microgrid systems can be optimally dimensioned to not only ensure uninterrupted power supply during critical events but also address the specific challenges presented by varying outage durations. They offer a critical bridge between theory and practice, informing stakeholders, policymakers, and industry professionals on the most effective strategies and technologies to deploy, ultimately enhancing grid reliability, mitigating the impacts of disruptions, and fostering the adoption of sustainable energy solutions in an era of growing energy uncertainty.

Key Findings

  • Microgrid designs have the potential to achieve 100% load coverage during outage events and planned maintenance while optimizing the system size to meet the desired microgrid demand efficiently.
  • Solar-plus-storage projects are eligible for Federal Income Tax Credits (ITC) under different charging scenarios, and the technical and economic analysis must account for these tax credits in the overall assessment.
  • A specific study highlights the advantages of storage-enabled microgrid solutions, which encompass enhanced reliability and energy security, cost reduction in operations, the ability to participate in power markets, and the realization of a positive net present value (NPV) when compared to traditional diesel-based microgrids.
  • In one study, cost-benefit analysis to estimate the net present value of the designed microgrid results in cost reduction shows the potential of real time studies but it depends on many factors like location, objectives, load profile, DER combinations etc.

Learning Opportunities

EPRI Program

Energy Storage and Distributed Generation (P94)

EPRI Contact

Suma Jothibasu, Technical Leader, sjothibasu@epri.com