A new report from GTM Research has concluded that the US installed capacity of microgrids is expected to grow 115% over the next five years, reaching 4.3 GW.
According to the U.S. Microgrids 2016: Market Drivers, Analysis and Forecast report published by GTM Research this week, a trend which is seeing a “shift away from single-entity owned and operated projects is greatly improving microgrid project economics in the US microgrid market.” Specifically, “multi-stakeholder ownership models” is seen as a key driver of growth for the US microgrid market, arising out of a surge in regulated utility interest to co-develop microgrids as a “non-wires” alternative to capital infrastructure investments.
“These new models can significantly reduce the capex and O&M burden on end customers,” said Omar Saadeh, senior analyst in the grid edge division, and author of this report. “At the same time, strategically located, dispatchable generation becomes very attractive to regulated utilities targeting congestion relief and substation peak demand reduction.”
As a result, GTM Research has concluded that more than two-thirds of currently installed microgrids in the United States are owned by end customers — with the military both the current and expected leader, accounting for 32% of expected annual capacity by 2020.
“A broader affinity for socialization of energy delivery is creating an upward swing in microgrid adoption,” said Saadeh. “While microgrids have historically focused on behind-the-meter benefits for end customers, recent ownership trends suggest a very different future.”
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