In this fascinating segment from the “Importance of Power Management” podcast, Joe Piccirilli discusses the immense potential of microgrids in revolutionizing the way communities manage their power supply. He highlights the benefits of microgrids, which can enhance resilience and stability for individual communities. Joe explains that a well-designed microgrid incorporates multiple components, including renewables, batteries, generators, and connections to the main grid, all complemented by power conditioning systems. This comprehensive approach creates a robust and efficient microgrid that can optimize energy generation and consumption, benefiting both the utility and the local community. He shares a remarkable example of a chemical company planning to build its own nuclear power plant as part of its microgrid to power its factories. This innovative approach demonstrates the growing interest in diverse energy sources and the potential for small-scale nuclear reactors in microgrids. Joe emphasizes the importance of making the most cost-efficient use of all available energy sources, including renewables and nuclear power, rather than engaging in political posturing. He believes that the future lies in building and expanding microgrids that utilize all energy sources efficiently, marking the beginning of a promising trend in the energy sector. This insightful discussion sheds light on the potential of microgrids to transform the energy landscape and underscores the importance of embracing diverse energy sources for a sustainable and resilient future.
I really like the way microgrids work. I think that for individual communities, you can build a microgrid that creates hardening. That creates our little microgrid. If you build one, we can create power stability. We can create within our system the most efficient use of all electrical generation. Because people can look at it and say, “Well, I’m going to build my microgrid and I’m going to have batteries and I’m going to have renewables. “Well, that’s really not enough because most of the microgrids I see have renewables, batteries, generators, and grid, and they have power conditioning to boot.
Now you have a very hardened microgrid. You can balance, which is the cool part. You can make the grid usage at its most efficient saying these are under the conditions we will draw from grid, which are optimal both for the utility and the neighborhood. I think in the long run, that is going to be the answer. I saw something recently, one of the large chemical companies on the commercial side has figured out that they could for their factories efficiently build a micro nuke. They are going to build their own nuclear power plant to run their factories as part of their microgrid. Now how cool is that?
Nice initiative right there.
Yes. I mean, that’s serious. Okay, I’m going to take this forward a big step. We have small nuclear reactors that power submarines, so they’re small, relatively. There is no reason not to do that. Obviously we have to have uranium secure and those kinds of things, but that’s where I believe the future…
That’s mysticism. You’re not getting me touching any sort of uranium, enriched, unenriched. I’m out. I’m out on nuclear.
But think about the very, very fact that they are willing to take the thought experiment out and say, “Wait a minute, we can make this work.” Because to your point, I think… We were talking earlier, Ben, when we were talking about cars, hybrid cars versus electric cars, and how special point of view and I think you agree, a hybrid is the way to go. You don’t get rid of fossil fuels.
You make them as efficient as possible. The idea of being able to take any fuel source, be it the sun or nukes or batteries, and use it in its most cost-efficient fashion is what we want to do. The rest of this is just political posturing. Every bit of math says that is the answer is to build microgrids that will use all sources of energy in their most efficient fashion. I love that trend. It’s just beginning. I think that’s really great.