Microgrids: A Regulatory Perspective
The nature of the production, delivery, and consumption of electricity is changing at an increasing pace. Many of these changes are occurring due to the rapid advancements in technology ‐ solar panel production, density and output of battery storage units, software, and systems capable of autonomously responding to signals or pre‐set operations – which are increasingly tailored specifically for a wide variety of scenarios. These scenarios range from the individual premise, all the way to community energy systems. When all of these technologies are organized by an individual customer or operator, these technologies can operate without the need of the local utility. In many respects, the question is not does the industry encourage or discourage this development ‐ this development is happening whether the utility, or regulator, encourages it or not; the larger question is what does the utility, and regulator, do to utilize these technologies effectively, both in their own operations, but also in planning their future needs. These emerging strategies are collected under one term: Microgrid.