Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Ocracoke's Microgrid

In December, 2016, I wrote about Ocracoke Island's new electric microgrid, a collection of 10 4,000 pound Tesla batteries and 62 solar panels installed at the Tideland EMC property on Odd Fellows Lane. This is the first microgrid laboratory installed by North Carolina's electric cooperatives. You can read that post here.

Photo by Heidi Smith

In January of this year, RE Magazine, produced by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, published an informative article about Ocracoke's microgrid. 

John Vanvig, author of the article writes that, "it would be hard to find a better place to design, build, and test a microgrid that can stand on its own when central-station power from the grid isn't available." The new system's solar panels can provide an additional 15kW to the island's power supply; the batteries, an additional 500kW (for several hours).

This test installation will provide valuable information for future projects in other communities. The goal, as outlined in the article, is to create an "agile, fractal grid." Agile means the ability to meet power needs quickly and efficiently during service interruptions. Fractal means that smaller subunits would have characteristics and capabilities similar to the main power generating facility.

You can read the article, titled "The Agile, Fractal Grid," here:

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter, a newspaper article published in 1923 titled "Quaintest Town in America," provides a fascinating glimpse of Ocracoke Island life a century ago. You can read it here: .

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