Microgrid's Role in Enhancing the Security and Flexibility of City Energy Systems

Sakshi Mishra, Ted Kwasnik, Katherine Anderson, Robert Wood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


Smart cities depend on flexible and secure energy systems to ensure resilient power for critical infrastructure; however, recent weather-related events and cyberattacks have highlighted weaknesses in our energy systems, with the potential for widespread economic and security impacts. As stated by the Executive Office of the President, "the resilience of the US electric grid is a key part of the nation's defense against severe weather." To address the energy delivery security challenge, microgrids are rising as a viable solution that enhances the flexibility and resilience of the distribution grid and boosts the reliability of the local supply for the end-user. Traditionally, high capital investment has been a barrier to large-scale adoption of microgrid technology. Understanding the flexibility and resilience benefits of microgrids and accounting for the associated value streams can make the microgrid's proposition economically viable. In this chapter, microgrids' utility and their potential to serve as a flexible and resilient resource for the utility grid by providing capabilities such as peak shaving, demand response, and frequency regulation is presented. Moreover, other value streams, such as (1) their ability to island during a disaster and sustain critical loads which makes them a robust resilience solution for end-users, in the event of the utility grid outage and (2) microgrids also provide a flexible platform for integrating distributed energy resources in conjunction with storage and conventional generation technologies, strengthen microgrid's role in reducing the over-arching goal of emission reduction. Given the myriad of benefits associated with microgrids, we present strategies which can be employed for making microgrid itself resilient against physical and cyberthreats by employing hardware, software, and personnel training solutions to operate the microgrid before, during, and after a potential disaster. This chapter, thus, provides a holistic study of the microgrid as a resilience resource, for the utility grid, and a self-contained end-user for the end-user.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationFlexible Resources for Smart Cities
EditorsM. Shafie-khah, M. Hadi Amini
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9783030827960
ISBN (Print)9783030827953
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-7A40-76680


  • Cyber-physical system
  • DERs
  • Grid-connected operation
  • Islanded operation
  • Microgrid
  • Reliability
  • Resilience


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