Remote Community Electrification Project goes Green!
In remote communities, initial electrification projects historically relied on diesel generators as the power source, and while that model has proven to be useful, there’s an opportunity today to include renewable energy sources that reduce emissions and yet provide reliable power – even when the closest electric grid is miles away. Installing microgrid or minigrid distributed generation systems allow remote communities in North America to incorporate more renewable power sources (and energy storage) to reduce dependence on diesel fuel and lower emissions. Microgrids provide a customized approach to support community needs for more resilient, sustainable and affordable power. The microgrid controls manage electricity with greater efficiency by providing the intelligence – the thinking that makes data actionable – to optimize which energy sources are applied, and when, while providing critical system protection.
A recent project in Canada is demonstrating how to increase sustainable power usage even when there’s no utility grid nearby. The First Nations reserve introduced renewables in the form of solar (PV) and Lithium battery storage to the existing diesel-based community power system. By utilizing a microgrid control system to manage the three power sources, the community is able to dramatically reduce reliance on the diesel generators and fuel expenditure. Similar principles can be applied to isolated and “off grid” communities, institutions and businesses to improve sustainability and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.