An advanced microgrid comprised of four smaller, interlinking grids has been unveiled in Texas by electric power systems firm S&C Electric and energy management company Schneider.
The project, for utility Oncor, which has 10 million customers in the state, includes nine distributed generation sources including two PV arrays, a wind turbine, two storage units and four generators. The grids can work independently or as a single, larger grid.
"Improving power reliability and optimising generation assets requires disruptive technologies that allow customers to work on and off the grid," said David Chiesa, director, microgrid business development, S&C. "Oncor's microgrid is showing the world how utilities can help their communities in the future," he claimed.
The site, in Lancaster, Texas, also includes the control room and demonstration centre which will be used to educate businesses, policymakers and the community about the benefits of existing microgrid technology.
"Working with Oncor and S&C to demonstrate how DSO cost effectively brings grid scale dispatch and optimisation technology to the microgrid is exciting," says Philip Barton, microgrid program director, Schneider Electric. "By combining S&C's solutions with Schneider Electric's PowerLogic load preservation system, microgrid controller and DSO, I am confident that Oncor's system is one of the most advanced and comprehensive microgrids in the market today,” he added.
The system uses a number of technologies from the two companies including S&C’s PureWave Community Energy Storage System and Schneider’s Microgrid Controller that can automatically detect a problem on the grid.
Oncor has been leading the development of storage in Texas requesting that the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) permit it to install 5GW of storage capacity at an estimated cost of US$5.2 billion.