Most Americans don’t have to think much about energy reliability. We plug in a computer and it powers up; we flip a switch and the lights come on.
While very reliable today, the U.S. electricity grid is old and has gone at least five decades without a significant technological upgrade. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is working with industry on one solution to help maintain a secure, reliable flow of energy: microgrids.
A microgrid is a smaller power grid that can operate either by itself or connected to a larger utility grid. Microgrids can serve areas as small as a few houses, all the way up to large military installations.