Report finds rapid growth in C&I microgrid adoption - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Industrial, Microgrids  -  June 5, 2017

Report finds rapid growth in C&I microgrid adoption

Adoption of microgrids by commercial and industrial companies is expected to grow dramatically over the next decade, according to a new report from Navigant Research. 

The report, which examines the global market for commercial and industrial microgrids, providing global market forecasts for capacity and revenue, segmented by region, application and customer class, through 2026, shows the global capacity of C&I microgrids reaching nearly 5.4 GW by 2026, compared to about 448 MW in 2017. 

The research group says the C&I microgrid segment is quickly maturing, "as risk-averse energy managers become more comfortable with the microgrid platform following its success in other segments." For corporations, microgrids can offer attractive solutions such as electricity reliability and, increasingly, more flexibility and efficiency in their energy use. 

Recent applications include Apple Inc.'s massive new campus in California, which was designed as a microgrid in order to ensure operations can continue in the event of a utility grid outage, and a Colorado project being deployed in a Denver transit-focused development area that includes the operations hub for Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Co. 

"When grid power goes down, the micro-grid controller allows the campus to operate autonomously, matching energy generation (solar PV, biogas fuel cells, battery storage, and backup generators) to energy consumption," Apple has said of its system. 

"The C&I microgrid market has historically been slow to develop due primarily to the lack of a clear value proposition based on the return on investment for microgrids,"  Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research said in a statement. "Today, regulations and technology trends for solar PV, advanced batteries, smart inverters, and sophisticated software controls are making cost-effective C&I microgrids an increasingly attractive option for a variety of customers."

In 2017, C&I microgrids — both grid-tied and remote — capture just under 20% of the total implementation spend. By 2026, that market spending share is anticipated to surge beyond 35%, according to the report.

Tags: Navigant

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