Your Friendly, Neighborhood Microgrid - Carolina Country
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Your Friendly, Neighborhood Microgrid

Advanced grid tech is cropping up on co-op lines across the state

A “microgrid” is exactly what the name implies: several electric grid components, interconnected at a specific site. They work great at locations that can benefit from increased reliability and resilience. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are deploying microgrids across the state for a variety of applications — even neighborhoods.

Tap an icon below to learn more about each part of the microgrid.

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Battery Storage

Energy storage inside homes provides a reliable, clean, quiet and cost-effective source of backup power. Larger batteries, especially tied to community solar, can serve a neighborhood.

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Solar Generation

Photovoltaic solar panels, both on rooftops and in a shared community installation, can supplement power from the grid and help keep things running in the event of an outage.

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Backup Generation

Generators, powered by natural gas, propane or diesel fuel (or methane, in some agricultural applications) can serve as additional backup should power from the grid become unavailable.

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Smart Thermostats

Wi-Fi enabled thermostats help heating and air conditioning units run more efficiently while providing the electric co-op an opportunity to reduce overall costs by trimming energy use.*

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Advanced Meters

Advanced electric meters allow for two-way communication between electric co-ops and members to help measure energy use, identify outages and enable means of reducing peak demand.

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EV Chargers

Charging electric vehicles at home can often allow co-op members to take advantage of special overnight electric rates, while helping to reduce energy use during hours of peak demand.

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Water Heaters

Even the humble water heater provides an opportunity for electric co-ops to reduce costs for the membership by switching off heating elements during times of high system-wide energy use, leaving plenty of hot water in the meantime.*

* Requires consumer participation in thermostat or water heater demand response programs.

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Controller and Distribution Automation

Coordination is key with a microgrid, and special hardware and software provide centralized control, allowing electric co-ops to dispatch various microgrid elements when needed. With all individual components working together, electric co-ops can collect, automate, analyze and optimize data to improve the operational efficiency of the microgrid.

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A Brighter Future

Our long-term plans are guided by each electric co-op’s local roots and focus on delivering value to cooperative members and their communities. Learn more about the sustainability and efficiency goals of North Carolina's electric cooperatives.

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