College campuses are well suited to develop microgrids:
Islanding: The already self-contained nature of many campuses makes colleges perfect candidates for developing microgrids.
Increased Reliability: Microgrids can continue to function even during central grid outages. This resiliency can be an important benefit to colleges concerned about power outages affecting the function of research facilities.
Expert Knowledge: Schools can benefit from expert faculty knowledge and motivated student bodies to manage both energy supply and demand within a microgrid.
Living Labs: Colleges may also use smart technology at the building level, analyzing sensor data to predict and smooth energy consumption to better meet supply. Universities equipped with meteorological stations, like Santa Clara University, may use weather reports to optimize clean power generation.
Deploying microgrids allows universities to demonstrate the practicability of high penetrations of variable renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, while improving overall reliability.