Evaluating the Technical Feasibility of Microgrids to Provide Local Neighborhood Support, Reliability, and Other Grid Benefits

Session: Rapid-Fire Introductions by Poster PresentersDate: Wednesday, October 16, 2019 / 8:50AM - 9:20AM PDTTags: Poster / Deployment and Field Experience

At the end of 2016, Alabama Power partnered with Southern Company Services (SCS), Signature Homes, PowerSecure, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and technology vendors to introduce the Smart Neighborhood – a state-of-the-art community of 62 homes in Birmingham, Alabama, featuring high performance homes, internet-enabled automation, smart devices, and a community scale microgrid. The community scale microgrid consists of 330 kW-AC PV system, 360 kW/680 kWh of battery storage, and a 360-kW prime/400 kW stand-by natural gas generator. This research-oriented pilot project was designed as an opportunity to learn about the possible technical and economic benefits made possible with smart neighborhoods.

To date, the neighborhood has been operational and fully inhabited for around a year. In this time, Southern Company, ORNL, and EPRI have been testing and analyzing the neighborhood’s performance to understand how the various sub-components and technologies within the neighborhood can work together to provide both utility and customer value.

This poster presentation will provide project background, highlight deployment and field experiences, describe use cases being studied, investigate performance test results, and display findings from a techno-economic feasibility study.