A panel of experts in Connecticut suggests a micro grid as a way to combat blackouts. “A microgrid is essentially a small electric grid with its own generation source, such as fuel cells, wind, solar or other energy sources.” When power goes out, critical facilities such as hospitals, grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies can remain open. The U.S. Department of Energy is currently spending $55 million to support eight microgrid projects, while there are already 270 micro grids worldwide.
“Because they generally rely on cleaner energy sources, microgrids are more environmentally friendly than big power grids. And since they’re located near the point of demand, the electricity doesn’t have to travel as far, so less power is lost in transmission and distribution.”
Reference: Daigneau, Elizabeth, Microgrid Technology Faces Its 1st Big Test, Governing, November 2012.