Utilities are now exploring microgrids thanks to technology advances such as smart inverters, smart switches, and new distributed energy resources (DER) control platforms. While utilities were previously opposed to the concept of intentional islanding, global trends suggest that UDMs may represent 10 percent to 15 percent of the total microgrid market. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, U.S. UDM revenue is expected to reach $917 million in 2024.
“Picking the right utility business model will be the most important step going forward,” says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “Without regulatory clarity, the UDM market may be limited due to restrictions on rate-basing of infrastructure that is redundant or perceived as also serving a single customer or group of customers’ needs.”
UDM adoption is dependent upon regulatory reforms, natural disasters, and customer adoption rates of DER like solar PV and energy storage, according to the report. As such, UDMs are expected to only be deployed for a small portion of the broad addressable market over the next decade.
The report, Utility Distribution Microgrids, examines the UDM market in the United States, with a focus on technology and policy trends, customer adoption, utility deployments, and the vendor landscape. Cost curve projections and adoption forecasts are provided through 2024. Featuring Navigant Research’s Utility Technology Disruption Matrix and Execution Grid, the report also examines implications for traditional utility business models, provides utility case studies, and offers strategic recommendations for industry stakeholders to position for long-term success.