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Microgrids: An Old Idea with New Potential

May 2, 2013
A new white paper provides an overview of microgrids today, including where they are most commonly used and how their function is evolving.

The U.S. Department of Energy defines a microgrid as “a localized grouping of distributed electricity sources, loads, and storage mechanisms which can operate both as part of the central grid or independently as an island.”

Microgrids themselves are hardly a new concept. Some of the earliest forms of microgrids have been in use for decades. Thomas Edison, who is credited with the invention of the first truly practical incandescent light bulb in 1879, eventually went on to originate the first electric power plant. The precursor to the modern electric utility industry, Edison’s commercial power station was constructed in 1882 on Pearl Street in lower Manhattan. This ground-breaking facility is considered the very first microgrid because a centralized grid did not yet exist. Within four years, Edison’s firm had installed 58 direct current (DC) microgrids....(Read more...)

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