You might say the world’s just catching up to Russelectric. Long before microgrids were called microgrids, the Massachusetts-based company offered the technology.
“We have been building microgrid and distributed energy controllers and systems for 50-60 years, they just weren’t calling them that,” said John Stark, Russelectric’s marketing communications supervisor. “The words distributed energy and microgrids have only come into common usage in the last 10 years or so. We didn’t use those words to describe these projects, but we essentially built systems with the same functionality and the same capabilities.”
The only real difference now is the addition of solar and energy storage, “and for us those are just additional power sources and another asset that needs control,” he said.
Today, Russelectric demonstrates its mastery over the contemporary microgrid at its corporate headquarters in Hingham, where it operates a hybrid solar-plus-storage and diesel microgrid, commissioned in 2017’s third quarter.
Microgrid Knowledge recently accepted an invitation from Russelectric to tour the facility.
A microgrid in the true sense of the word, the corporate installation can automatically and seamlessly disconnect from the local utility grid and supply power to meet critical needs at the company’s Hingham headquarters in the event of a grid outage.
At the same time, the project acts as a demonstration for potential customers to tour. Linked to a simulated load bank, the microgrid can operate in virtual scenarios capable of simulating a combination of operating conditions.
Under normal, grid-connected conditions, the hybrid microgrid optimizes generation and dispatch from its solar PV and battery energy storage systems, thereby reducing utility bills, greenhouse gas emissions and other negative environmental and health impacts.
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