Ask City Leaders to Invest in Energy Storage and Microgrid Development

Microgrids are self-contained electric grids that can operate independently of a central power grid and have many benefits over traditional grid systems. Microgrids can better integrate renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, which are usually distributed over distances and produce energy intermittently. In addition, microgrids coupled with energy storage technologies, such as fuel cells and batteries, may be able to operate off of renewable energy completely, and thus the adoption of microgrids can help ease the city’s transition to 100% renewable energy. Finally, microgrids are more energy efficient since microgrids minimize line losses associated with electricity traveling long distances and can ultimately reduce the costs of electricity. 

The City of Duluth can learn from cities like Sterling, Massachusetts, where the Sterling Municipal Light Department estimates the economic benefits from using batteries with its new microgrid technology will save the utility’s ratepayers around $400,000 a year. Another example of institutional microgrid installments is The Food and Drug Administration Federal Research Center microgrid in White Oak, Maryland, which is estimated to prevent about 72,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year. Other cities, such as Borrego Springs, California, which is connected to the main grid by long transmission lines that are often knocked out by severe weather events, rely on a microgrid to ensure there is always power in the town.

Between the economic, environmental and resiliency benefits of microgrids, it is clear that microgrids can help improve the future of US cities. In order to meet and expand upon its energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, the City of Duluth should pursue the adoption of microgrids combined with energy storage technology. Take action today by sending a letter to city leaders to urge the City of Duluth to invest in microgrids and energy storage. 

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