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Microgrids Becoming a University Staple

15 Dec 2011

A study by Pike Research found that an increasing number of college and university campuses are embracing microgrids, pockets of distributed energy resources that can be isolated from the utility power grid. The total installed generation capacity for campus microgrids will increase by 164 percent between 2011 and 2017, rising from 620 megawatts (MW) to 1.6 gigawatts (GW). Pike forecasts that by 2017 the campus microgrid market will exceed $770 million in annual revenue.

Senior Pike Research analyst Peter Asmus notes, “The business case for campus environment microgrids revolves around classic value propositions of increased efficiency, greater reliability, and the potential for new revenue streams from the provision of grid services. Current trends toward a more distributed energy future appear to make microgrids an inevitable augmentation of today’s centralized grid infrastructure.”
Currently, the United States represents the best overall market for microgrids for most application segments, including campus environments. The ten-campus University of California (UC) system has established a wide ranging energy policy that includes meeting 20 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2017, calling for 10 percent of its power to come from locally generated clean sources by 2014. The policy also calls for a ten percent reduction in power use by 2014. Such policies make campus-based microgrids a logical step, according to Pike.

The Microgrids for Campus Environments report examines the longer-term market potential for campus microgrids in the commercial, education, government, healthcare, industrial and research campus application segments. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Pike Research provides analysis of global clean technology markets including the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. For more information, visit