Nearly 800,000 people across the U.S. woke up without power on the morning of Christmas Eve following a wicked winter storm. Many of those who were lucky enough to keep their lights on had microgrids to thank.

Microgrids utilize a combination of energy sources that can include solar power, battery storage, and backup propane generators.

Microgrid Knowledge rounds up several interesting case studies in which distributed power resources proved their worth during Winter Storm Elliot, such as a grocer who was able to keep his Long Island stores open, continuing to supply necessities to the community and avoid food spoiling.

Microgrids also came to the rescue of grid operators that were struggling to supply demand and issuing rolling blackouts and calls for conservation. Enchanted Rock, a microgrid solution provider, used its portfolio to help the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which services 15 states, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. If needed, Enchanted Rock could have also provided backup power to microgrid customers experiencing outages. That’s because some of the units are gas-powered.

“This is the value of microgrids at their best, distributed energy, close to the load, with a diversity of locations and equipment types,” said Allan Schurr, Enchanted Rock’s chief commercial officer. “The central grid needs distributed energy to perform during the energy transition to immediately fill in and quickly balance supply and demand.”

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