Microgrids are an emerging grid architecture as we are learning day by day. More utilities are beginning to see the advantages of having such an architecture available for them to load balance and deliver a higher level of resilience to their customers than ever before.
Southern Company’s subsidiary Mississippi Power is currently piloting “smart neighborhoods” where Tesla Solar Roofs and Powerwalls are being married with smart home tech in order to see what advantages can come from this setup.
Why does it matter?
- With appliances and smart home tech becoming nearly ubiquitous and solar deployments becoming more common to come by – it is likely we will see the communication between these devices happen. It’s a matter of time
- Smart home tech can help dynamically reduce or increase loads based on production schedules – we already see this with companies like OhmConnect with demand response and Autogrid with grid wide load management
- The addition of batteries will allow for intelligent sizing and load shaping to be taken advantage of by utilities and homeowners the like
- We likely will see the coming of new business models in the energy space as a whole. Enabling the homeowner to participate and see potential revenues from installing solar, software and batteries.
- Utilities will likely own and finance residential microgrids creating ways to deepen their understand energy usage down to a plug level
- Smart home tech, AI, solar and storage are all timing the market perfectly – yielding a huge opportunity for the tech world to enter in and help drive microgrids into the market.
Mississippi Power is one of many likely going to push forward on microgrid research – seeing companies like Tesla pushing hard on Virtual Power Plants enabled by their batteries and solar systems will likely show a growth into smart home tech being connected to the electric grid as well. Monitoring the success of these pilots will enable great growth to the microgrid world.
About The Author
Swarnav S Pujari
CEO @ TouchLight | Founder of The Impact
Swarnav is the CEO of TouchLight, a utility backed energy company that develops software for nanogrids that accelerates solar payback periods by 1 – 3 years. He currently leads partnerships and product efforts within the company.
Concurrently, Swarnav founded The Impact to help provide open source tools, research and analysis to people passionate about tackling climate change. He also volunteers time with ClimateLink hosting regional meetups and was appointed the Chairman for the Town of Yorktown’s CSC Task Force, where he helps with legislation and sustainability efforts within the town.
Swarnav has a background in building physical products and has been working in the energy space for about 8 years. He also holds 2 patents and is active in the tech, energy and real estate industries.