Siemens Government Technologies’ Michael House leads keynote at ASME conference on the importance of microgrids

smart grid controls

Maximizing renewables penetration through smart grid controls

Drawing upon decades of experience studying and guiding the government’s secure energy solutions, Michael House, Vice President of Infrastructure and Energy Solutions at Siemens Government Technologies (SGT), is helping identify and face the rising challenges associated with increasing demand for renewable energy penetration. On July 18, he delivered the keynote presentation “Maximizing Renewables Penetration Through Smart Grid Controls” at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Power 2022 Conference. New technologies like grid forming inverters and microgrid controllers with week-ahead demand and weather forecasting can stabilize distribution systems with high renewables generation. Michael highlighted SGT and its commitment to ensuring integration success within the strict requirements of government customers.

DoD Definition of Microgrids:

A DoD installation microgrid is an integrated energy system consisting of interconnected loads and energy resources which, as an integrated system, can island from the local utility grid and function as a stand-alone system.

Microgrids - Critical in Today’s Economic Climate

With the move toward renewable energy sources and the inherent challenges in relying on those sources, microgrids are meeting the growing demand for more sustainable, economical and flexible solutions. Microgrids deliver reliable, on-demand power when infrastructure assets and renewable energy sources are unavailable or reduced, providing the ultimate energy backup power for critical defense and government operations. Microgrids ensure government operations’ seamless execution, reducing risk and providing security where it’s most paramount.


Pain Points of Renewable Integration

When renewables energy penetration increases on a given microgrid, certain limitations arise such as voltage and frequency oscillations and non-optimal power factors. Coordination of installed distributed generation and energy storage assets must be managed to ensure facility resiliency and to maximize carbon reduction. The net zero carbon goals of government facilities, whether military base, national laboratory, federal office building, or otherwise, cannot come with a sacrifice in reliability. As such, the preexisting technology gaps must be addressed, as the problems they cause will only become more pronounced as renewable integration advances.

Energy storage, dynamic modelling and expanded transmission have both been recognized as necessary solutions amid a high renewables grid, highlighting the need to solve the previous pain points of misalignment between power demand and typical renewable generation.

In addition, greater penetration of renewable energy also brings decreased inertia levels across the grid. Inertia is the characteristic inherent to generator-based power systems (such as fossil fired power plants) that allows a generator to continue to spin during brief moments of failure or outage thanks to the momentum of the turbines. This continuity in turbine output ensures greater levels of grid reliability in a way that renewable assets like wind turbines and solar panels cannot. As such, a grid with more renewable capacity comes with increased likelihood of interruption, a true impediment to embracing more renewables in microgrids that can least afford grid interruption, such as government buildings and military bases.

Optimizing solutions to unlock renewables potential

House highlighted optimized solutions that SGT has already piloted and delivered for government customers. Specifically, smart grid controls, and their importance to guaranteeing seamless renewable penetration on a distributed system.

These controls can enable power stability amid renewable penetration in several ways:

  • Microgrid controllers provide robust functionality
  • User-facing demand-side flexibility and controls can reduce total peak load
  • Grid forming inverters for use with solar PV systems
  • Open standard communication protocols allow vendor-agnostic interoperability
  • Increasing the predictability through optimization and forecasting allows better adaptability


SGT Capabilities – Advancing energy and microgrid technologies for a cleaner tomorrow

Derived from years of providing integrated and secure government solutions across strategic missions, SGT is a seasoned partner in providing renewable energy advancements. In his keynote, Michael highlighted successful use cases where Siemens has successfully implemented microgrids with high renewables penetration in projects stretching from Hawaii to the East Coast and even across the globe in locations as varied as Bavaria and the Galapagos. SGT has been able to leverage this experience in its development of similar projects for government customers in locations with limited infrastructure and minimal margin for downtime.

About Michael House  

Michael currently serves as Vice President of Infrastructure & Energy Solutions at Siemens Government Technologies where he leads the company’s business capture planning, development, and proposal operations in support of government solutions. 

His career stretches nearly three decades of experience in technical, program, and business development roles, including previously serving as Vice President at AECOM, Department Manager at the URS Corporation, and key player at Northrop Grumman Corporation, GE, and Lockheed Martin. 

Michael holds an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute after receiving his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Engineering Mechanics and Engineering Science, respectively, at the Pennsylvania State University. 

Connect with Michael House on LinkedIn or get in touch with his team at Siemens Government Technologies 

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Michael House