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August 12, 2019   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

What do a craft brewery, a medical center, a wastewater treatment plant and a city in New Jersey have in common?

Microgrids bring together the best of both worlds - renewable sources of prime power – such as wind and solar - combined with battery storage, and reliability that is ensured thanks to backup fossil-fueled generators (natural gas or diesel), all in an integrated system, self-contained on-site.


What do a craft brewery, a medical center, a wastewater treatment plant and a city in New Jersey have in common? They all use microgrids to generate their electrical power.

Continuous electrical supply is often taken for granted, until the power goes out. Then it is a problem, well beyond inconvenience, it is an economic and public safety necessity for businesses, government and institutions alike. Today these entities are taking matters into their own hands and turning to new approaches for electrical supply that are independent of the main electrical grid.  

Known as microgrids, these systems bring together the best of both worlds - renewable sources of prime power – such as wind and solar – combined with battery storage, and reliability that is ensured thanks to backup fossil-fueled generators (natural gas or diesel), all in an integrated system, self-contained on-site. Fossil fueled generators – particularly diesel power – play a key role by ensuring continuous electrical supply if the wind isn’t blowing or sun isn’t shining, or the natural gas supply has been cut off. 

Leaders in power generation today provide far more than just engines, but entire integrated solutions for businesses and institutions, like these:

From these examples, today’s microgrids deliver the best of both worlds - the renewables that you want, with the reliability that you need. A smart solution takes advantage of the unique capabilities of ready and available proven fuels and technologies.  Wind and solar can be combined with near-zero emissions capabilities of proven natural gas or diesel generators to make sure critical and not-so-critical assets keep functioning in the event of a severe weather event or power disruption, keeping the beer flowing, the city functioning, the hospital operating and the water treated.

Microgrids infographic



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Key Contact

Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy
efinkin@dieselforum.org
301-668-7230

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