Microgrids are systems of linked distributed energy (DE) generation sources that provide power for a relatively small number of users. In this work, we show how microgrids can be used to reduce emissions and deliver power with an annual amortized cost that is competitive with grid power. To perform the analysis, average hourly electrical load profiles for residential customers in Washington, DC were obtained from the utility company (Pepco). Hot water and heating fuel consumption is modeled computationally using prototype building characteristics. The energy consumption data is then used with a computer-based model to analyze grid-tied microgrids. The DE sources examined in this work are photovoltaic arrays and combined heat and power (CHP). The cost and CO2 emissions for the microgrid are compared to the case where power is drawn solely from the grid. We show that when DE capacity is optimally utilized, the microgrid is cost competitive, and the cost to reduce emissions is lowered.

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