Schneider Electric has been working for many years on microgrids as a solution for large industrial sites and as back-up power for critical locations, but the main value today is on islands that are isolated from a grid, says Xavier Moreau, Strategic Marketing Director at Schneider Electric, in an Engerati interview at European Utility Week 2014.
Microgrids for islands
Schneider Electric has entered into a partnership to develop a solution integrating its distribution management and power control systems with DONG Energy’s Power Hub VPP. [Engerati-Microgrid Energy Management Solution To Power Faroes Network] At the heart is the software to optimize the system at the various levels and the integration of services such as weather and sensor data.
“Microgrids need to be able to manage distributed generation and control loads,” notes Moreau.
Distributed energy resources can also be integrated through market mechanisms and in another new project Schneider Electric is partnering with ERDF to develop a DER management system. [Engerati-ERDF And Schneider Electric Consolidate Their Smart Grid Partnership]
“This will enable utilities to bridge the gap between network operations and energy markets,” explains Moreau.
In the wide-ranging interview, which also covers Schneider Electric’s activities in areas as diverse as analytics, co-generation and building energy management, Moreau says that there are diverse situations that require solutions, from those countries where demand is flat or decreasing under pressure from energy efficiency to the 1.3 billion people without access and waiting for electrification.
“Utilities need to be smart,” he says. “They need to decarbonize their mix, so networks need to flexible. But it’s not just about technology, it’s also about changes in business processes and culture.”