Main components of a sample system

600 kW DC, ground mounted with curtailment control of PV output

Wind turbines:

100 x 5 kW AC, permanent magnet, direct drive

Energy storage system:

Li-on, 500 kW/750 kWh, with grid forming capability, round efficiency 85%

Load profile:

Max. 480 kW, average 320 kW, min. 250 kW


A microgrid is a local and independent energy system that can generate, distribute, store and regulate the flow of electricity. It is essentially a scaled down version of the main grid and can operate either in conjunction with the larger grid, or in “islanded mode.” Where necessary and practical it can also switch between the two. Like it’s bigger cousin, a microgrid can draw energy from non-renewables and renewable sources or a combination of the two. The more a microgrid is optimized for the use of renewable inputs like solar energy, the lower its environmental impact and long-term costs of operation become.


Whether building a microgrid from scratch or retrofitting an existing diesel microgrid, at Canadian Solar we can assist you in developing an optimal solution. This includes the integration of intermittent renewable generation sources, while using storage and limited non-renewables to ensure grid stability, reliability, power quality, safety and efficiency. Leveraging the cost and environmental benefits of solar power to maximum advantage is made possible by the extensive cost reduction of PV solar systems in recent years and advances in control and communications technologies. These technologies also make it possible to feed surplus energy into the regional grid or, in turn, to draw energy from it where necessary.

Canadian Solar has adopted a holistic approach to tackle these issues that includes:

  • Community energy plan and feasibility study
  • Load management for conservation, efficiency and demand response
  • Optimal renewable energy (RE) system for high RE penetration
  • Advanced microgrid control system
  • Installation, commission and O&M
  • Development of PPA for attractive ROI


High RE penetration
Improved power quality, reliability and security
Turn-key solution
Holistic approach


  • Project scope, assessment of concept
  • Identify site(s) and stakeholders, understand approval procedure
  • Feasibility study, grid-impact study, geo-tech and techno-economic assessment
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), risk assessment and management plan
  • Technology selection, design and pre-engineering
  • Viability assessment, financial modeling, energy flow modeling
  • Planning permits & grid-connection approval, land lease or purchase
  • Power purchase agreement (PPA), supply agreements
  • Financial structure and commercial closure / end buyer
  • Project engineering, performance optimization and cost reduction
  • Procurement of BOS components and PV panels
  • Site preparation, foundation build, module installation, cabling, inverter installation and grid-connection
  • T&C (testing & commissioning)
  • Training, O&M, technical inspections, real-time monitoring (remote) & reporting (performance data)

Microgrid System

Typical Configuration *
Islanded Grid Load Range PV Solar
Less than 400 kW 300 kW
Less than 400 kW 900 kW
Less than 400 kW 3 MW
Islanded Grid Load Range Wind Turbine
Less than 400 kW 200 kW
Less than 400 kW 500 kW
Less than 400 kW 2 MW
Islanded Grid Load Range Energy Storage
Less than 400 kW 400 kW / 1.6 MWh
Less than 400 kW 1.2 MW / 4.8 MWh
Less than 400 kW 3.6 MW / 14.4 MWh
Islanded Grid Load Range Diesel Genset
Less than 400 kW Legacy Gensets
Less than 400 kW Legacy Gensets
Less than 400 kW Legacy Gensets
Islanded Grid Load Range Reachable Renewable Penetration
Less than 400 kW up to 50%
Less than 400 kW up to 50%
Less than 400 kW up to 50%
* Specific configuration and renewable penetration heavily depend on the load profile, legacy genset conditions and wind & solar resources at the project site.


  • Significant savings in power generation cost
  • Hedge against fuel cost fluctuations
  • Works for both island and grid tied modes
  • Scalability allows addition of assets and functionality over time
  • Adaptable to changing power requirements
  • Automatic fault detection, protection and recovery
  • High efficiency and energy conservation
  • Improved diesel fuel to electricity efficiency of legacy gensets
  • Increased genset lifespan and lessened O&M cost
  • Job creation