U.S. DOE Selects Microgrid Institute Team to Design and Test Microgrid Systems for Maryland Communities


Washington, D.C.: The U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory, on Monday selected a team led by Burr Energy LLC (dba Microgrid Institute) to design, simulate, and test microgrid control systems for two Maryland suburbs served by utility Pepco Holdings Inc.

DOE/NETL is expected to provide approximately $1.2 million in funding assistance for the Olney Town Center Microgrid Project during a two-year period beginning in late 2014. The project team – including Microgrid Institute, Green Energy Corp., Schneider Electric, and FREEDM Systems Center at N.C. State University, with assistance and cooperation from Pepco Holdings Inc. – will design, simulate, and test advanced control systems for community microgrids at Olney (Montgomery County) and Ritchie Station Marketplace (Prince George’s County).

“The Olney Town Center serves as a critical community hub and lifeline,” said Michael Burr, Director, Microgrid Institute. “With a hospital, two schools, police and fire stations, a water tower, and other vital facilities within one square mile, the Olney Town Center is an ideal setting for a resilient community microgrid.”

In addition to modeling a microgrid control system for the Olney Town Center area, the project also will design and simulate a community microgrid centered on the Ritchie Station Marketplace, a multi-use commercial development near the Washington, D.C. beltway.

“Modeling microgrid configurations for two different community scenarios will allow the project team to compare and contrast use cases,” said Steven Pullins, Chief Strategy Officer at Green Energy Corp. “Insight from these comparisons will add substantial value to commercial microgrid product designs.”

Principal roles in project execution include:


  • Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI) (Washington, D.C.): Collaborating with the project team, assisting and cooperating on network modeling and system design.
  • Burr Energy LLC dba Microgrid Institute (Little Falls, Minn.): Serving as prime contractor and project manager, providing advisory support to the project team, and assisting efforts to define microgrid design objectives and use cases, commercial and contracting structures, and regulatory and legal frameworks.
  • Green Energy Corp. (Eugene, Ore.): Providing the GreenBus® Microgrid controls platform as well as leading the team’s research and development, system planning, and design activities, and leading analysis of test results.
  • Schneider Electric (LaVergne, Tenn.): Providing power engineering analysis, supporting equipment data and modeling efforts, and contributing key equipment for use in microgrid system integration, analysis, and testing.
  • The Future Renewables Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center (Raleigh, N.C.) (National Science Foundation Gen-III Engineering Research Center at North Carolina State University): Leading and executing all microgrid control systems testing, and supporting engineering analysis and test results reporting.

The Olney Town Center project team also enjoys support and encouragement from the Maryland Energy Administration, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the Montgomery County Council, and the NAI Michael Companies – developer of the Ritchie Station Marketplace. “Such collaborative support will ensure the project serves the priorities of local communities, the state of Maryland, and the nation,” Burr said.

In addition to addressing local energy priorities, the project will pursue key national goals established in the President’s Climate Action Plan, as well as DOE’s Microgrid Program Objectives:


  • Reduce outage time of critical loads by more than 98%;
  • Reduce emissions by 20%; and
  • Improve system efficiencies by more than 20%.

The Olney project complements other collaborative initiatives at Microgrid Institute, such as the Resilient Communities Initiative,which focuses on helping community leaders and stakeholders in strategic planning and execution of community resilience projects centered on local energy infrastructure.

About Microgrid Institute: Microgrid Institute (www.microgridinstitute.org) is a collaborative organization that addresses issues affecting the development of microgrids and distributed energy assets. Efforts focus on market development and analysis, regulatory and financial models, and project feasibility and structuring. Microgrid Institute is an independent initiative of Burr Energy LLC.


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