Microgrids slowly make inroads in the Midwest, with Illinois taking the lead

Article originally published by Energy News Network

…Navigant Research tracks the growth of microgrids internationally and publishes a microgrid tracker every two quarters. Here is a snapshot of Navigant’s numbers for the Midwest:

  • The region had 58 microgrids as of Q2, 2018.
  • The top segments were commercial or industrial (18 projects), campus microgrids (15 projects), and military installations (11 projects,).
  • Illinois had the most microgrids with 15, followed by Michigan (10) and Minnesota (9).

“In terms of capacity, Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota are the only three Midwestern states that are in the top 25 of U.S. states,” said Johnathon de Villier, a Navigant research analyst.

Asmus credits Illinois policy — like the state’s grid modernization law passed in 2011 — for spurring innovation, and the largest utilities, ComEd and Ameren, for being out front in discussing the potential of utility scale microgrids…

Most microgrids are actually built in the private sector. “The vast majority of microgrids are not utility microgrids,” Asmus said. “They serve college campuses, and more recently communities.The segment that used to be lagging that is really picking up is the commercial and industrial,” he said. “The Midwest has a pretty healthy portion of its market based on that.”