Renewables to Account for 26% of Total Microgrid Capacity by 2020, Says GTM

July 8, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

GTMAccording to GTM Research’s report “North American Microgrids 2015: Advancing Beyond Local Energy Optimization,” cumulative investments in US microgrids from 2015 through 2020 will surpass $3.5 billion. By then, the US will be home to an estimated 2.8 GW of total microgrid capacity, a 127 percent cumulative capacity increase from 2015 numbers.

GTM Research forecasts that generation procurement will account for 40 percent of the total microgrid investment during the period. Fuel-based generators represent nearly all generation to date, however renewables are expected to grow by over tenfold (to 730 MW) to account for 26 percent of total microgrid capacity by 2020.

Other investments in the form of distributed grid enhancements, switching and protection, project development, siting and permitting, and energy efficiency upgrades will make up the balance of project investment, as customers look to enhance reliability, reduce energy bills and provide new grid services.

Other key findings from the GTM report include:

  • 44 percent of operational microgrids integrate battery storage;
  • Approximately half of operational microgrids include 1 MW or less of generation capacity;
  • Over 80 percent of today’s operational microgrid generation capacity is distributed among just 7 states.

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