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Exceptional Energy in Action

Seeking resilience, organizations turn to microgrids

Microgrids may also be able to produce power at a lower cost than the electric utility. By producing power onsite, instead of at a centralized utility, microgrids can eliminate the transmission and distribution losses associated with the grid. They can also utilize the heat generated from combined heat and power or CHP systems. Such systems can operate at efficiency levels of 70 to 80 percent.  Even for projects with access to natural gas, propane may be the best choice for backup energy storage in the event of a natural gas outage.

In Catalina Island in Southern California, the utility added 23 Capstone LPG/Propane Microturbine, which can be turned on and off in increments of 65 kW.  The microturbines reduced diesel fuel usage by about 10 percent, or 200,000 gallons, annually, according to Capstone. And the island's overall emissions profile improved, with annual reductions of about 8 percent for smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions and about 9.5 percent for diesel particulates.

Published on 8 March 2017

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