MIT and Micro-Grids: Is This What the Future Holds?
- 10.7.2016 | 9:30 PM - 11:00 PM
- MIT McNair Building 37, Room 212 70 Vassar Street Cambridge, MA 02139
Micro-grids have been around for decades serving primarily the military, university and hospital campuses. With the proliferation of distributed renewable energy resources and in light of super storms like Sandy, micro-grids are receiving more attention. Companies, organizations and communities are exploring what micro-grids can offer to support resiliency, lower energy costs and reduce the carbon footprint. Forward looking utilities, third party energy providers and technology suppliers are studying what role micro-grids will play as part of the grid and as potential new business models.
MIT has been operating a sophisticated micro-grid to help meet their needs for reliable and resilient power since 1995. MIT now generates about 60% of its own electricity with much of the generation by a gas fired plant. At the same time, MIT alums and students are developing new technology to help manage micro-grids. Recently, Heila IQ won two prestigious CleanTech awards for their distributed/decentralized controllers. The company piloting its controllers at a vineyard in Sonoma County in California, where it integrates gas generators and hundreds of solar panels connected to multiple types of batteries.