U.S. Microgrids 2016: Market Drivers, Analysis and Forecast

by Omar Saadeh

A recent surge in regulated utility interest to deploy microgrids as a platform for “grid modernization,” or as a “non-wires” alternative to capital infrastructure investments, is aligning with interest from major developers and ESCOs to increase their involvement in the development, ownership and operation of microgrids. This mutual preoccupation has served as a catalyst for microgrid business model innovation, as new projects are better able to distribute costs and deliver specific benefits to diverse stakeholders, including consumers, utilities, municipalities and other third-party entities.

In this report, GTM Research considers the sustained positive drivers in the microgrid market, including (1) the rise of multi- stakeholder project ownership models, (2) a noticeable uptick in large commercial and military adoption of microgrids to support critical operations, (3) developing regulated utility interest in strategies to accommodate utility- and third party-owned DER/ microgrid systems and (4) the continued deployment of community-type projects in the Northeast and Alaska.

Operational Microgrid Capacities by Region and Resource

This report provides:

  • An understanding of microgrid concepts, benefits to different stakeholders and considerations in project development
  • Customer drivers and emerging ownership structures of microgrids
  • A detailed segmentation of the current operational market by region, resource, end customer class and ownership structures
  • Annual capacity (MW) and market opportunity ($) forecasts through 2020
  • GTMR U.S. Microgrid Tracker: Q3 2016 detailing project-level data for 279 operational and planned microgrids. Only available with Premium License purchase.


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.

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