Stakeholder Spotlight: Microgrid Labs Inc.

August 16, 2022
Drive Clean Colorado is excited to share our latest Platinum sponsor, Microgrid Labs! Microgrid Labs is a consulting and software company based in Boulder, Colorado, that specializes in fleet electrification and microgrid planning and implementation. Their services include fleet feasibility studies, energy modeling, and project support during the implementation and operations phase of the project. Microgrid Labs has successfully supported several fleets – including Boulder-based Via Mobility – in their electrification process using their proprietary software EVOPT. To date, Microgrid Labs is working with several transit agencies and school districts across the country and is gearing up for some projects in the commercial fleet space. You can read more about their work with Via Mobility and other fleets here.

Filling the Planning Gap

“Microgrid Labs approaches fleet electrification at the system level – that is, by modeling the various components of a typical fleet electrification project – vehicles; charging infrastructure; utility electrical assets – to address complexities that arise from these elements being inter-dependent”, says Namit Singh, COO, and co-founder of Microgrid Labs. The comprehensive approach offers a fleet the advantage of creating a ‘preview’ of what it would mean to convert a fleet to electric. In fact, proper planning provides key information about the vehicle battery size and charger infrastructure needs – information that is best to have before procuring any equipment, and for an effective engagement with the utility regarding upgrades. Furthermore, because the analysis is done using the EVOPT Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, fleet managers can access and modify their custom projects if they wish to reflect changes in fleet electrification plans overtime, thereby cutting analysis time and associated costs.

What does the typical fleet electrification planning process with Microgrid Labs look like?

At the beginning of each project, the MGL team collects vehicle telematics or similar data, such as transit feed specifications, to reconstruct routes and duty cycles in the EVOPT platform. Key parameters such as terrain gradient, temperature profiles, heating and cooling loads, and vehicle payload are incorporated in the analysis to make accurate battery energy requirements along a route. Once the basic battery sizing step is complete, the EVOPT platform allows for many more analyses to be performed, including simulating different charging scenarios, and calculating the resulting charging requirement, power demand and associated costs for the depot. For example, during a recent project with the Hazelwood School District in Missouri, MGL modeled and compared different charging strategies to come up with a solution that would ‘shave’ peak load to stay below the maximum power capacity of the depot, thus reducing energy costs while guaranteeing that all 100+ buses would be charged and ready to go by 6AM.

Paola Massoli is a Project Manager with Microgrid Labs and will work with us to support fleet electrification and microgrid planning and implementation efforts across the State.

“There is a clear growing momentum towards fleet electrification in Colorado, and a general desire to accelerate and scale up efforts to address climate change, air quality, and high energy costs by going electric. We are excited about working with Drive Clean Colorado to support their stakeholders across the state by providing data and energy-based planning services that can help fleets navigating the complexities of going electric.”

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