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Design of efficient microgrids for financially-strapped communities

Neue Publikation! Emi Minghui Gui, Iain MacGill & Regina Betz (2021): Consumer-centric and capital efficient design of community microgrids for financially-Strapped communities, Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy, DOI: 10.1080/15567249.2021.1983083


Subscription-based microgrids have been deployed to serve electricity needs
of rural communities
due to their simple user interfaces and basic energy
management requirements. However, these projects often suffer from economic
inefficiency to sustain long-term operations, lacking insufficient price
signals and demand side, as well as uncertainties around consumer participation.
This article proposes a consumer-centric planning and design framework
for community microgrids
, based on capacity subscription with self-rationing
to reveal consumers’ real preferences in service reliability and their
budget constraints, in order to achieve social welfare maximization and
revenue adequacy. This capital efficient community microgrid greatly simplifies
the microgrid investment planning, operation and scheduling, and
reduces capital requirements and transaction costs
, thus to improve electricity
accessibility and affordability and to incentivize private sector investments.
This is particularly advantageous in microgrid applications for
financially strapped communities when incorporating high share of variable
renewable energy generations. Requiring a lower level of investments than
the current subscription-based microgrids, our analysis shows the benefits of
the proposed design in improving the consumers’ surplus, and supply–
demand matching, achieving cost recovery, and desired level of service
reliability for consumers