The Development Process section provides a high level overview of all the steps in the process of developing, building and operating a community microgrid. The goal is to provide local government and other stakeholders with a solid grounding in the overall microgrid development process. The most crucial phase of this process from a local community perspective – Planning – is covered in detail in a separate section of the Academy.
THIS SECTION OF THE ACADEMY IS STILL UNDER DEVELOPMENT. IT WILL BE IN THE SAME FORMAT AS THE BASICS AND PLANNING SECTIONS AND WILL COVER THE FOLLOWING TOPICS:
Identifies promising sites and determines which ones should be in the microgrid, why they are good candidates, what power they need, and how long they need it.
Key steps include:
Project Initiation, Preliminary Site Identification, First Level Screening, Second Level Screening, Produce Microgrid Development Plan.
(NOTE: This is a quick overview to orient stakeholders as to where Planning fits in the overall microgrid development process. The Academy also includes a more detailed section focused exclusively on the Planning process.)
Technical Feasibility Study
Hard lines and significantly extends the information collected and assembled during Planning.
Key steps include:
Preliminary Design, Engineering, Sizing, Cost Estimates and Cost/Benefit Analyses of Various System Configurations and Generation Options.
Financing and Procurement
Includes final distribution system design with detailed maps, final energy mix (with some room for creativity by the bidders), outline of permitting requirements, and outline of required security and interconnectivity requirements.
All of this information will be reduced to a final bid document that will separate but recognize this into two bids:
Energy: generation mix, security, interconnection, own, operate, maintain.
Distribution: System layout, interconnection, own, operate, maintain.
Includes awarding and managing contracts to:
Construct, interconnect and securitize the various generation sources – solar, cogen, microgen, batteries, etc.
Construct the distribution system and the interconnection to the grid.
Maintain and operate the distribution system.
Various forms of ownership and operation are possible: city ownership, independent ownership or hybrid-like Utility Authority. Depending on ownership model, steps include:
Work with microgrid participants to create various contracts for energy purchasing (power purchase agreement or year to year).
Identify various market opportunities to sell power. Work with Utility (if they don’t end up operating it) to determine highest economic use profile for the microgrid.
Identify various additional power or thermal generation or needs in the surrounding microgrid for opportunities to enhance the economics of the microgrid.