Efficient Plant April 2018 - 37
feature | solution focus
Alternative-energy integration, expensive-energy-storage,
and aging-infrastructure barriers are falling.
THE NEW ENERGY landscape comprises increasingly distributed
This industry-wide shift has brought about new challenges for
and decentralized power sources, such as renewables, that are drastifacility decision-makers and energy managers. Now, given the need
cally changing the way energy is procured, deployed, and managed.
to respond to stakeholder demands for alternative-energy sources,
While this increases the complexity of the electricity model, it is also
such and wind and solar, as well as energy efficiency and sustainabilushering in new levels of efficiency, susity and an increasing focus on adding Industrial
tainability, and energy resilience. While the
Internet of Things (IIoT) connectivity to operacentralized, one-way electric-grid model
tions, facility managers are turning to microare available to
was the norm for the past century, the progrids to better manage power consumption.
growing numbers of
liferation of distributed-energy resources
Still, although their benefits far outweigh their
(DER) will continue in the foreseeable
challenges, some microgrid deployments are
future. In fact, according to Navigant
becoming stalled-not because of the maturity
Research, Boulder, CO (navigantresearch.com), annual installed
of the technology or the complexity of adding it to an operation, but
capacity in the DER market is expected to grow from 109.9 GW in
because of questions about payment structures.
2015 to 335.8 GW in 2024, representing a cumulative investment of
Many facility managers incorrectly categorize microgrids as infra$1.9 trillion over the next decade.
structure projects, i.e., the types of initiatives that incur high upfront