Navigant Research Report Finds Microgrids Represent a Platform to Transform DER into Systems with Enhanced Resiliency Services Beyond Traditional Utility Offerings

A new report from Navigant Research examines how utilities that move now can shape future microgrid markets to create new revenue opportunities.

The electric utility industry is at a crossroads. Deployments of distributed energy resources (DER) will exceed centralized generation in 2018, and the gap between the two categories will only grow wider (and in favor of DER) over time. Click to tweet: According to a new report from @NavigantRSRCH, microgrids represent one platform that can transform these DER into systems that offer enhanced resiliency services outside of traditional utility offerings.

While the islanding functionality of microgrids was historically viewed with suspicion, a growing number of utilities are investigating what role this platform could or should play in this market, says Peter Asmus, research director with Navigant Research. Microgrids are inching their way into the mainstream, though most are being deployed by non-utility vendors for third parties.

Growing interest in and regulatory support for community microgridsas well as microgrids designed to bolster the overall distribution systemare opening the door for utilities to play a larger, mostly undefined role in the deployment of microgrids, according to the report. Yet, microgrids do not fit neatly into the current utility toolbox. The downside to this reality is that many utilities lack clarity on how best to proceed. The upside is that those that move early, experiment, and then learn from pilot programs can help shape their own microgrid destiny and offer new models for the entire utility industry.

The report, Utility Microgrid Strategies Leveraging DER for Grid Benefits, explains why DER technology trends point to the need for new utility business models. The study discusses how utilities that move now can shape future microgrid markets to create new revenue opportunities. Three paths forward for utilities to deploy microgrids are described: a traditional regulated rate-based approach; unregulated business ventures; and hybrid approaches that could include investing in or acquiring microgrid vendors. The report also provides recommendations for utilities relative to these strategies based on existing regulatory structures, geographical and resource considerations, and expected future technology innovations. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

About Navigant Research

Navigant Research, the dedicated research arm of Navigant, provides market research and benchmarking services for rapidly changing and often highly regulated industries. In the energy sector, Navigant Research focuses on in-depth analysis and reporting about global clean technology markets. The teams research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Energy Technologies, Utility Transformations, Transportation Efficiencies, and Buildings Innovations sectors. Additional information about Navigant Research can be found at

About Navigant

Navigant Consulting, Inc. is a specialized, global professional services firm that helps clients take control of their future. Navigants professionals apply deep industry knowledge, substantive technical expertise, and an enterprising approach to help clients build, manage and/or protect their business interests. With a focus on markets and clients facing transformational change and significant regulatory or legal pressures, the Firm primarily serves clients in the healthcare, energy and financial services industries. Across a range of advisory, consulting, outsourcing, and technology/analytics services, Navigants practitioners bring sharp insight that pinpoints opportunities and delivers powerful results. More information about Navigant can be found at

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Utility Microgrid Strategies Leveraging DER for Grid Benefits, is a summary and reflects Navigant Researchs current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the reports conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

Navigant Research
Lindsay Funicello-Paul
[email protected]