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The Role of Microgrids in Helping to Advance the Nation’s Energy System

Microgrids are localized grids that can disconnect from the traditional grid to operate autonomously and help mitigate grid disturbances to strengthen grid resilience.

Microgrids are localized grids that can disconnect from the traditional grid to operate autonomously and help mitigate grid disturbances to strengthen grid resilience.

Microgrids, which are localized grids that can disconnect from the traditional grid to operate autonomously and help mitigate grid disturbances to strengthen grid resilience, can play an important role in transforming the nation’s electric grid. Microgrids can strengthen grid resilience and help mitigate grid disturbances because they are able to continue operating while the main grid is down, and they can function as a grid resource for faster system response and recovery.

Microgrids also support a flexible and efficient electric grid, by enabling the integration of growing deployments of renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind and distributed energy resources such as combined heat and power, energy storage, and demand response. In addition, the use of local sources of energy to serve local loads helps reduce energy losses in transmission and distribution, further increasing efficiency of the electric delivery system.

The Energy Department has a comprehensive portfolio of activities that focuses on the development and implementation of microgrids to further improve reliability and resiliency of the grid, help communities better prepare for future weather events, and keep the nation moving toward a clean energy future.

Microgrid 2014 MVP Challenge

The Energy Department’s Microgrid 2014 MVP Challenge is a competition to support resiliency and adaptation in communities across America. Under this Challenge, organizations with operational microgrids are encouraged to submit details about their microgrid designs and operational data for judging. The operational data will help the Department learn more about the performance and value of microgrids and capture practical information that can be shared about how microgrids are being used to make communities more resilient. As part of the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan, the competition advances the President’s commitment to helping the nation prepare for the impacts of climate change. The deadline for applying is August 29, 2014. To learn more about the competition, including rules, submission requirements, and evaluation criteria, visit http://www.energy.gov/microgridchallenge.