Good things don’t always come easily. Microgrids are no exception. “The process of developing microgrids can be costly. It begins with a feasibility study reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars, even before any design, procurement and installation,” said Kay Aikin, CEO of US-based Introspective Systems.”Moreover, those feasibility studies are filled with disclaimers, and closing the gaps of uncertainty is crucial. Microgrid designs are unique, and therefore it is difficult to scale up the process of those studies without the use of technology.” Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can help. Aikin’s company, along with Israel-basesd Brightmerge, are incorporating both into a microgrid software platform that determines microgrid feasibility and creates optimal design specs and operational controls. The partners have several pilot projects underway with the goal of bringing the software platform to alpha stage in the second quarter of 2020 and rolling out production systems in 2021. One pilot project is moving forward faster — a solar-plus-storage microgrid on Maine’s Isle au Haut that’s due to break ground soon. “We’ll build the system over the next 2-1/2 months with the aim of having it up and running by mid-November,” Aikin said in an interview. The island is served by an aging undersea cable connected to the mainland 20 years past its useful life that could fail at any time.

Transactive energy and microgrids

The Introspective Systems-Brightmerge microgrid software development project is governed under a contract Introspective Systems recently finalized with the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation. Its unit, BIRD Energy, has been awarding grant funding for projects proposed jointly by US and Israeli companies since November 2009. Brightmerge and Introspective Systems won a grant in December 2018 to develop and test dynamic grid […]