Apr 28, 2021 12:30pm ET
The demand on our energy infrastructure to support our growing digital economy is unprecedented. The need for a robust energy infrastructure is growing in scale and scope, paralleling the increased consumption of our digital economy, including virtual work, distributed secure networks, and the mining and support for cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin. Despite these 21st century needs, our infrastructure is built on 20th century foundations and highly vulnerable to extreme weather, cyberterrorism and other event-related risks.
The entirety of our economy is powered through the collection of centralized generators and distributors of electric energy, built at a regional or macro-level, which we call “the Grid”. Much of this energy is created using fossil fuels and controlled at a regional level that can be disconnected from local needs and events. At the other end of the spectrum are “micro-grids”, which are distributed, localized systems that run independently of the Grid and thus can operate autonomously and responsively. Micro-grids, along with their supporting storage resources, can be connected to the traditional Grid but are also able to disconnect and function as independent “islands”.
The concept of microgrids is not new and they have long-served as backup power sources for when centralized grids have been disrupted. They also have a long history of providing significant distributed energy resources in rural areas in which it has not been profitable to extend the macro-Grid. Interestingly, they too have historically relied on fossil fuels, primarily from gas or propane.
However, over the past few years, our increasing interest in renewable energy sources (and their rapidly decreasing cost of production) has corresponded to a growing interest in disrupting this traditional energy infrastructure. Importantly, technology is playing a leading role in improving monitoring and managing use-levels and flow allocation. Therefore, the ecosystem of microgrids is receiving a lot of interest from corporate customers, policymakers, municipalities, and investors.
This panel will discuss the evolution of microgrids with a primary focus on the use (such as data centers and controlled environment agriculture) and financing.
Scott Robinson, Clinical Professor & Director, REIT Center
Matthew Kwatinetz, Clinical Professor & Director, NYU Urban Lab
Josh Garrett, Director Structured Investments, Hannon Armstrong (NYSE: HASI)
Aaron McCrady, Director of Credit Investments, Hannon Armstrong (NYSE: HASI)
Julian Torres, Chief Investment Officer, Scale Microgrid Solution
12:30 – 12:35 Scott Robinson: Welcome and Opening Remarks
12:35 – 12:50 Hannon Armstrong: intro and overview
12:50 – 1:05 Scale Microgrid Solution: intro and overview
1:05 – 1:20 Moderator-led Q&A
1:20 – 1:30 Audience Q&A
You can register for this free event here: https://nyu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FfR04E-_Q_CxKy7ltQzv-A