The Pros and Cons of Microgrid Systems for Manufacturing Companies

After the Northeastern US power grid failure and its resulting blackout in 2003, the idea of constructing a microgrid for commercial enterprise began to make sense for more U.S. manufacturing companies. Subsequent power disruptions such as the Hurricane Sandy blackouts and threats to the power infrastructure from cyber-attacks have created a demand for custom electrical transformers. If you are the owner or operations manager of a U.S. manufacturing business concerned about prolonged power losses, a microgrid system may be an intelligent business decision for your company. There are some important points to consider before investing the time and money into a substation at your site, but the benefits for your business may be worth the investment.

Reliable Energy

Microgrids deliver reliable energy by blending local utilities with an on-site power station at your manufacturing site. The station is automated based on your settings. If there is a power outage, your microgrid will continue to supply power to the most vital elements of your operation while cutting power to non-vital areas of your site, such as storage areas, based on your preferences.

Contracting the build of a microgrid for commercial enterprise is most advantageous for mid-size manufacturing businesses that depend on a constant source of power for their equipment and want to explore alternate energy resources.

Major Benefits for Businesses

Supplying your manufacturing plant with power from a microgrid system is not only a way to avoid power system failures due to storms. Other benefits of microgrids include:

  • Protection From Human Threats. Power systems are vulnerable to cyber-attacks and acts of terrorism. Custom electrical transformers are less likely to be targets for hackers and terrorists due in part to the smaller scale of the substation and closed use.
  • Balanced Demand on Utilities. The increased demand for energy per person taxes utility providers. A microgrid for a commercial enterprise balances your site’s demands for energy between the primary power grid and your substation. That makes blackouts less likely for your site and for the local community it may also serve.
  • Government Incentives. By working with power engineering consultants to use alternative energy resources in your substation, your business will qualify for green initiative government incentives. You can take advantage of most wind and solar incentives should you decide to utilize any of these renewable energy resources.

Important Considerations

It’s important to discuss your energy needs with a qualified power engineer to understand the timetable and costs involved in incorporating a microgrid system into your production process. Even if you have onsite teams of electrical and mechanical engineering experts, your company will need to plan to work with the right consulting engineers and the power transformer manufactures to implement the substation. Most manufacturing companies can expect a 2 to 5 year project for a fully functional microgrid for commercial enterprise.

Microgrids may require a large upfront cost for the implementation of the microgrid design and custom electrical transformers. The investment is balanced somewhat by an immediate ROI through conservation of energy costs. There is a quick payback in energy conservation, and the government incentives for renewable resources also will offset some of the expense. Still, implementing a microgrid with a few three phase transformers can be a very wise idea for a manufacturing facility that suffers from lost revenues when the power goes out.

If your manufacturing company requires a constant source of reliable energy, the enormity of the project and upfront costs of a substation may be worthwhile. A microgrid for a commercial enterprise is an investment in a reliable source of renewable power that benefits your company as well as the community.

Tags: ,

No comments yet.

Add your response