Renewable energy will reconfigure the nation’s electricity infrastructure, a remnant of an era of centralized power generation where coal, gas, hydroelectric and nuclear power generation created huge amounts of electricity in one place for distribution over thousands of square miles. These times call for a different approach to electricity distribution, which mixes national and regional grids with local production and a new concept, the micro-grid. These local production and storage systems can be connected or operate independently of the regional electricity grid. Rod Matthews, co-founder and CEO of Brevian Energy, a Vista, Calif.-based renewable energy technology company, joins the conversation to discuss microgrids for business. While the decision to electrify remains entirely logical, the incentives for corporate adoption of solar, wind and microgrids are changing. California’s Net Metering Decision 3 will reduce the prices paid to homes and businesses that sell their excess energy back to the grid.
A microgrid can be as small as a single business or home and offers a different relationship with electricity, freeing the owner from arbitrary price increases imposed by remote power generation providers. As we integrate solar generation into our built environment, vehicles, appliances, and gadgets in offices and homes, we can enter a glut situation when moving energy to where it is needed remains difficult. As the nature and location of electricity generation evolves, understanding the role of microgrids in electricity distribution and the economy will be useful to businesses and homeowners. Just as the grid was originally designed to survive a nuclear war, we can redesign the power grid to provide reliable power in an age when six- and seven-hour outages due to a single fuse failure or extreme heat forcing a utility to shut down transmission lines have become, if not daily, increasingly familiar inconveniences. You can learn more about Brevian Energy at brevianenergy.com.