A microgrid does not encompass a single set of technologies, and given the diversity, there is not a single definition of what constitutes a microgrid. For the purpose of this report, Lux Research defines a microgrid as power services or “island” from an external power system or “macrogrid” while maintaining on-site power. In this report, we evaluate three business models and their financial viability across a number of sectors and generation souces. We find that microgrid-as-a-service (MaaS) offerings are applicable to both on- and off-grid systems, and can enable utilities to cost-effectively and strategically retain customers while growing their microgrid services. While on-grid systems will be best served by a third-party or utility-implemented MaaS, off-grid systems will be best served by Greenfield MaaS and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) business models. In our profile of microgrids, we’ve found that the complex planning required to deploy microgrids is enabling microgrid products and new business models to emerge. Based on our modeling and analysis, we also describe opportunities for utilities, impact-investors, and technology developers to make a play in microgrids.
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