Economic feasibility study of standalone community microgrid in 37 cities of the USA

Abdellatif Elmouatamid, Mizan Ahmed Chowdhury, Marcos Netto, Philip W.T. Pong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Community microgrids are applicable universally because they can decentralise grid-connected areas and electrify remote areas. Moreover, they can provide energy security by improving the reliability and resiliency of electric distribution while diminishing the infrastructure costs of preserving or constructing electric power generation, transmission, and distribution assets. Using renewable energy sources (RESs) maybe incentivised through the government and utilities, which can help make such projects economically viable. A model has been developed to calculate the costs and benefits of building a standalone community microgrid in various cities in the United States, powered by wind turbines and photovoltaic (PV) panels where the battery is the backup. Using the System Advisor Model, the sizing of the microgrid system was optimised. This microgrid community's capital, operation, and maintenance costs were calculated using various per unit costs obtained from previous research. Real-estate data were collected from websites to calculate the average price of land and houses. An automated tool was created to calculate the developer's profit and house price subsidy for building such communities. The result demonstrated that several states in the USA could be profitable for developers to build and homebuyers to be a member of this microgrid community. Additionally, this microgrid community has the objective of real/near power supply during disaster and emergency events (e.g., coastal/riverine flooding, tsunamis, earthquakes, wildfires, possible damage, and terrorist attacks). The benefit is not only the direct power generation cost but also the advantage of keeping some critical services operational during catastrophic events that cause electricity blackouts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20220027
JournalTransactions Hong Kong Institution of Engineers
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


  • Community microgrid
  • cost-benefit analysis
  • remote electricity
  • renewable energy
  • system advisor model


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