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Campus Microgrid Market to Boom

Total installed generation capacity for campus microgrids will increase by 164 percent between 2011 and 2017, rising from 620 megawatts  to 1.6 gigawatts, according to a new report from Pike Research.

According to Microgrids for Campus Environments, by the end of the forecast period in 2017, the campus microgrid market will reach $777 million in annual revenue.

Microgrids are pockets of distributed energy resources that can be isolated from the utility power grid. Interest in this technology has traditionally been centered on educational campuses but demand is now growing for other campus segments such as the government, health care, industrial, and research campus markets, the report says.

The United States represents the best overall market for microgrids, according to the report.  Key factors include pockets of poor power quality scattered throughout the U.S., and the structure of markets for distributed energy resources.

The latter, according to Pike, has stimulated creative aggregation possibilities behind the meter at the retail level of power service, meaning that instead of being driven by grid operators, the microgrid market in the U.S. is customer-driven.

“Microgrids offer a compelling opportunity for facilities managers in single-owner campuses to take more direct control of their electricity supply,” says senior analyst Peter Asmus.

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