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