Rumours have circulated for months that S&C Electric, Schneider Electric and Oncor had in the works a microgrid more sophisticated than any so far built in North America. Today the companies lifted the veil off the completed project near Lancaster, Texas.
The new microgrid isnt particularly large (1.25 MW), but oh whats inside. Not one microgrid exactly, but four working together (or apart), offering a first-of-a kind automation that hints at the distributed grid to come.
Industry visionaries describe a future U.S. grid where multiple microgrids can act in concert. With little or no human interaction, these microgrids of the future puzzle out a complicated dispatch of power and storage that they can share. The goal is to achieve highest reliability at lowest price and integrate renewable energy.
The Oncor microgrid steps the industry toward that future.
The four microgrids, or zones, include nine generation sources: two solar photovoltaic arrays, a microturbine, two energy storage units and four generators operated by one microgrid controller suite.
The microgrids can operate independently, together, or as one through a distribution automation scheme that leverages intelligent grid products from S&C Electric and Schneider Electric.
You have four different microgrids at the site that can be optimized separately. Each one of the zones has either a distributed energy source in it, or an energy storage unit. We physically can control each one of them independently, said David Chiesa, S&C Electrics director of microgrid business development.
Further, the microgrid controller suite and distribution automation switches allow the system to actually sectionalize. The project can allocate generation from one microgrid to the other microgrids, as needed. This is done automatically with no human interaction.
Source: Microgrid Knowledge
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