Designing a microgrid is an incredibly complex task – there’s no such thing as a standard microgrid. This unpolished microgrid excel model is a baby step in the direction of standardizing microgrid ROI calculations, which guide planning and decision-making. It’s intended to be a conversation starter. Something to get you and your time thinking about what really goes into the design and installation of a microgrid.

We share a similar spreadsheet with our six-week microgrid class. Students can play with it, and several versions of it. The issue with microgrids is that decisions have to be made – optimization for capacity planning (no one has solved this integer programming problem in the industry) or heuristics (rule of thumb) – about how much solar, at what time, for which location, … and the same with batteries, and so forth. So that no definitive answer is possible, only one of many “right” answer, and we strive for lowest cost for the location.

About the Author: Mahesh Bhave

Mahesh is a Visiting Professor of Strategy at Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, India. He has worked in product management, strategy, and business development positions at Hughes, Sprint, and Citizens in the United States. He is the founder of a rich media communications start-up in San Diego, CA. He is an engineer from IIT, New Delhi and Ph.D. from Syracuse University. He is also LEED AP certified.

About the Microgrid Executive MBA

This is a comprehensive, data-driven business course on microgrid project development for professionals developed by Renewable Energy World and Dr. Mahesh Bhave. Students will learn to evaluate project economics of microgrid projects in a variety of markets using case studies, financial models, and templates. The course is self-paced over six weeks with unlimited opportunities to network with classmates and Dr. Bhave. Students will have access to all course videos, tools, and templates for a full year after the official end of the course.

Here’s what the spreadsheet looks like:

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