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What is a microgrid?

A microgrid is a self-contained electrical network that allows you to generate your own electricity on-site and use it when you need it most. For this purpose, your microgrid will connect, monitor, and control your facility’s distributed energy resources (DER) while enhancing performance, sustainable footprint, and resilience. You can operate microgrids while connected to the utility grid or in disconnected “island” mode. When the grid goes down or electricity prices peak, microgrids respond.
The three main benefits of microgrids:
  • Enable greener operations by integrating on-site renewables such as wind and solar.
  • Save energy expenses by optimising demand, storing electricity, and selling it back to the grid during peak demand.
  • Improve reliability, thus keeping your facility's power on during grid outages.

How do microgrids work?

A microgrid co-locates electricity generation and consumption. Unlike the utility grid, which generates electricity in a centralised power plant and then distributes it along hundreds of miles of transmission lines, a microgrid generates electricity on-site. For electricity generation, microgrids typically use some combination of backup diesel generators and renewables such as solar panels. Microgrids can incorporate battery systems to store electricity and deploy it during outages or when grid demand spikes.
Learn how microgrids work

Who can benefit from a microgrid?

Today, organisations of all kinds are turning to microgrids and distributed energy resources for financial and sustainability benefits. We've worked with a diverse set of customers: from municipal governments and military bases to nature preserves and vertical farms. Microgrids can also be utilised in remote areas where energy access is limited or nonexistent to provide much-needed resources. Any organisation seeking to gain control over energy costs, advance sustainability and increase resiliency can benefit from a microgrid.

How much does a microgrid cost?

Microgrids range dramatically in complexity and size. The exciting answer for organisations is “it’s free” because an energy-as-a-service (EaaS) approach eliminates your upfront costs. A microgrid, in a more traditional way, is a CapEx and an OpEx model. In a project mode, it’s high CapEx and low or no OpEx, in an energy-as-a-service business model, it’s high OpEx. EaaS is a financing model for microgrids that allows you to avoid upfront costs. Similar to a software-as-a-service model, with EaaS you avoid capital expenditures and instead pay only for ongoing service.

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Explore our software, services, and products for Microgrids


EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor


EcoStruxure Microgrid Operation


Harmony ST6


Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)



Discover prosumer-based energy management

Businesses today are becoming energy prosumers with the ability to produce, consume, and control their own energy.

image of solar panels with city in the background

Making solar smarter

Learn how microgrids enable businesses to automatically make choices that provide economic and energy resilience benefits.

See what our customers are saying

South Australian Produce Market

This fresh produce wholesale market uses our microgrid solutions as part of its ambitious sustainability goals, which include cutting annual greenhouse gas emissions by 32%.

Brookville Bus Depot

Located just west of Washington D.C., Montgomery County's robust transit system is fuelled by an electric vehicle fleet and a microgrid solution that is critical to their long-term climate goals.

Explore our latest insights on Microgrid solutions

Microgrids: 10 key questions answered

Ready to understand the microgrid basics? Find all the answers to 10 key questions on why and how microgrids are essential.

Making your energy work for you

Understand the impact of distributed energy resources (DERs) and explore a path to net-zero.

Drive your business strategy with microgrid adoption

Learn how to incorporate microgrids as part of your business strategy.

How AI powers today's advanced microgrids

How does AI affect your energy optimisation? Learn how advanced microgrid systems drive intelligent results.

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1. Microgrid solutions from Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric offers efficient microgrid solutions based on a combination of Edge Control Systems, Connected Products, Applications, Analytics, and Services. Connected Products include Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), Grid-Tie String Inverters, and Hybrid Inverters. Applications, Analytics, and Services include EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor and EcoStruxure Microgrid Operation, and Edge Control includes Harmony ST6 and EcoStruxure EV Charging Expert. We offer repeatable, scalable, and IoT-enabled microgrid solutions and end-to-end services, including electrical distribution services.

2. Different types of microgrids

Broadly speaking, there are three types of microgrids:

3. Differences between a microgrid and a smart grid

Microgrids are different from smart grids. A microgrid is a self-sufficient and localised energy system serving a discrete geographic footprint, which may be a business centre, hospital complex, etc. It includes distributed energy sources and multiple loads, which can be operated parallelly with the broader utility grid. Smart grids, on the other hand, are electrical grids that operate on a larger scale and can regulate energy flows from generation points to consumption points. They include communication, automation, and IT systems.

4. Designing of a microgrid

Schneider Electric offers a ready-to-use solution to help you design a microgrid, regardless of the application. Our pre-engineered microgrid control centres have all the components you need for power management, control, energy metering, and power monitoring. In addition, our microgrid management software – EcoStruxure – offers pre-engineered algorithms to make the functions standardised and reliable.