Distributed energy resources (DER) are power generation and storage technologies (such as solar photovoltaics, wind turbines, or fuel cells) located at a user's location to supply electricity. A microgrid is a localized grouping of electricity sources and loads that operate connected to and synchronous with the traditional centralized grid (macrogrid), but can disconnect and function autonomously as physical and/or economic conditions dictate.
ETA microgrids researchers study customer adoption patterns of microgrid technology and microgrid controllers. Central to this work is the free, Berkeley Lab-developed Distributed Energy Resources Customer Adoption Model (DER-CAM), a tool that can be used to output microgrid investment and dispatch results that minimize costs or emissions. It can be used for microgrid adoption, policy analyses, and microgrid controller design.
ETA works worldwide with partners in business, academia, government, and the military to evaluate DER and microgrid design and performance, and to identify and implement best practices for a variety of applications.