Microgrid Businesses Continue to Grow

On the matter of energy distribution, localization is just as important as globalization.

Electrical grids have traditionally provided households and businesses with energy in the past few decades and have become a mainstay of modern electrical infrastructure, so it only seems natural that small-scale power grids would also be supported. However, this was not always the case.

Microgrids were once opposed but have now seen a significant uptrend in implementation. The microgrid's usefulness is twofold; it is less likely to succumb to natural disasters and can be used as a backup power supply when the main grid sees high energy demand.

Moreover, the recent spike in demand for microgrid systems is likely tied to their ability to isolate themselves from a utility's distribution system in the event of a blackout. The modular design of microgrids also allows for easy integration of different energy resources into singular modernized systems, making them more valuable in the marketplace. This is the primary draw of the microgrid and the basis for companies' present and future ventures into the microgrid space. 

Navigant Research is one of many firms monitoring the development of the microgrid on a nationwide spectrum. They have recently released the Navigant Research Leaderboard Report, which analyzes the strategy and execution of microgrid controls platforms by 15 leading project developers based on 12 criteria. The report also includes vendor profiles and rankings to provide an unbiased analysis of these companies' strengths and weaknesses in the current market.

According to the Navigant Research criteria based on strategy and execution, the ranking is as follows:

1. Schneider Electric

2. Siemens

3. Optimal Power Solutions

4. Princeton Power Systems

5. Tecogen

6. Green Energy Corp.

7. ABB

8. Alstom Grid

9. GE Digital Energy

10. Blue Pillar

The companies which occupy spots 11-15 are Emerson Network Power, Eaton, Lockheed Martin, Toshiba and PowerSecure. It must also be noted that all 15 of the vendors mentioned in the report have the potential to become industry leaders, and that there is no single company which dominates the market at the moment. However, the report does make a distinction between vendors using certain classifications.

Schneider Electric, Optimal Power Solutions and Princeton Power Systems are recognized as the leaders of the microgrid market, if only by a slim margin, with Siemens, Tecogen, Green Energy Corp., ABB, Alstom Grid, GE Digital Energy, Blue Pillar, Emerson Network Power, Eaton, Lockheed Martin, Toshiba and PowerSecure​ trailing closely behind. 

The full report as provided by Navigant Research addresses the crucial differences between the top 15 competitors in microgrid strategy and execution and is a potentially useful resource for other microgrid vendors, software controls vendors, community planners, energy storage OEMs, utilities, regulators and investors.