Major power outages caused by extreme weather, along with the spread of distributed, renewable energy resources, have set the stage for regulatory reforms that are likely to enable both customer-owned microgrids and utility distribution microgrids (UDMs) to expand strongly in the next decade.

According to Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from UDMs is expected to grow from $1.4 billion annually in 2014 to more than $3 billion in 2023.

Responding to this growth, in the coming months Navigant’s Microgrid Service Offering Team will offer an exclusive study of small power grids that will bring together a high-level consortium of utilities, project developers, software and hardware providers, and other key microgrid and nanogrid stakeholders, to collaborate with industry peers in order to develop critical knowledge and lasting relationships with key partners across the small grid industry.

Beginning in March 2015, this four-to-five month multi-client study will provide critical insight into this rapidly growing and uncertain market to large North American distribution utilities and their microgrid vendors and service providers.

"For utilities, the emergence of this dynamic market carries profound, and possibly ominous, implications, along with opportunities," says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research and one of the leaders of the small grid study. "There is a clear need to examine the overarching architectures and related business models for microgrids if utilities are to remain relevant in an energy future characterized by diverse, distributed energy resources."