Research Note - U.S. Microgrid Market Update: Q2 2016

by Omar Saadeh

This newly-released research note highlights key trends in the U.S. microgrid market, including updated market sizing and revised forecasts. Associated project-level data of the 237 tracked microgrid projects is also provided to Grid Edge Executive Council members.

U.S. Microgrid EOY Operational Capacity Growth Expectations, Q2 2016

The note covers 156 operational microgrids, represented by 1543 MW of capacity and 81 known planned projects. Highlights include:

  • The current microgrid generation mix, largely fossil fuel-driven, is expected to increasingly turn to renewable sources. Renewables contribute to 14% of today’s cumulative operational capacity, more than double the 6% reported one year ago.
  • Excluding pure R&D and very early-stage pilots, the majority of operational microgrids are small- to mid-sized. The average capacity of these operational microgrids is 9.8 MW; however, a handful of larger projects may disproportionately tip the scale. The seven largest account for 600 MW of cumulative capacity, or 39% of the market.
  • Operational capacity is expected to exceed 3.7 GW by 2020 – a 30% bump from previous estimates.

Four key market trends affecting the U.S. microgrid market are also covered:

  • Enhanced reliability continues to be a major driver at the federal and state levels, particularly in the Northeast.
  • Attractive business models rely on co-ownership agreements.
  • Technology vendors are building their microgrid controls and energy management specialization.
  • Both regulated and unregulated utilities are planning for microgrids; regulated utilities are developing public purpose projects, while deregulated utilities target C&I customers.

This note is only available to Grid Edge Executive Council Members. For more information, download the membership brochure here or contact Tate Ishimuro at ishimuro@greentechmedia.com.

Omar Saadeh Senior Analyst, Grid Edge

Omar Saadeh is a Senior Analyst with GTM Research and is the lead author of the Grid Edge Customer Network executive briefings. Omar has published numerous utility and smart grid market reports covering policy development, the competitive technology landscape, market evolution and business model economics. He has delivered keynote presentations at industry conferences and has contributed to publications such as Bloomberg, ComputerWorld, E&E’s ClimateWire, PV-Tech, Utility Dive, Yahoo News, and others.

Before joining GTM Research, Omar completed a Master of Engineering degree in power engineering at McGill University, where he was awarded a Graduate Excellence Fellowship, authored research for IEEE and Cigré, and contributed as a staff writer to The McGill Daily. He has also worked as a building efficiency sales associate at Johnson Controls and holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from McGill University with a minor in economics.

image description

Contact Us