The Magic of the Microgrid
Most people don’t give electricity much thought, but at a research powerhouse like UC San Diego, ensuring a reliable, safe and secure supply of energy is absolutely critical. And the key to “keeping the lights on” is the campus’ microgrid.
Considered one of the world’s most advanced microgrids, the university’s microgrid generates approximately 92 percent of the electricity used on campus annually. The system is also extremely cost-effective, saving the university more than $8 million a year in power costs as compared to importing the same amount of energy.
What is a Microgrid?
Basically a small-scale version of a traditional power grid, a microgrid draws energy from clean sources such as wind and solar power, as well as from conventional technology. A microgrid can be connected to a larger electric grid, but can also work independently. At UC San Diego, power generation is produced from several key sources: solar, a fuel cell and a cogeneration plant. These assets are integrated with energy storage and the sophisticated software that controls it all.
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