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Microgrid Solutions (0.1kW – 100kW)

Micro- Minigrid Solutions (0.1kW – 100kW)

GTM, Navigant & TMR Research forecasts Microgrid capacity in the US will exceed 1.8 gigawatts by 2018 and the global market is set to grow five-fold from about R116 billion in 2013 to R580 billion in 2020. Energyneering is developing a portfolio of Microgrid projects to meet growing demand. These projects are built upon the success of Energyneering’s 75MW Solar Farm and Microgrid at De Aar, designed for a Siemens IPP Solar PV Power Plant. Energyneering is an established and trusted partner that has substantial Microgrid experience and unique design philosophy that makes every system scalable, flexible and future-proof to adapt to your changing needs.

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What is a Microgrid?

A Microgrid is distributed generation located close to demand delivering electricity with minimal losses. A Microgrid includes a localised grouping of electricity generation, energy storage, and loads that normally operates connected to a traditional centralised grid (Macrogrid). This single point of common coupling with the Macrogrid can be disconnected. The Microgrid can then function autonomously. Generation and loads in a Microgrid are usually interconnected at low voltage and it can operate in DC, AC or the combination of both. From the point of view of the grid operator, a connected Microgrid can be controlled as if it were one entity.

Microgrid generation resources can include stationary batteries, fuel cells, solar, wind, or other energy sources. The multiple dispersed generation sources and ability to isolate the Microgrid from a larger network would provide highly reliable electric power. Produced heat from generation sources such as microturbines could be used for local process heating, water or space heating, allowing flexible trade-off between the needs for heat and electric power.

  • Small Microgrids typically cover 30-50 km radius
  • Small power stations of 5-10MW serve the Microgrids
  • Generate power locally to reduce dependence on long distance transmission lines and cut transmission losses.

How will Energyneering’s Smart Microgrid benefit my organisation?

Energy users are quickly realising the importance of local energy generation, as well as more efficient management of renewable energy resources. Severe storms, power outages, aging energy infrastructure and rising costs have created a period of energy uncertainty. Thankfully, the introduction of Smart Microgrids is shifting control of our electricity system to the end-user by providing an advanced level of energy flexibility and control, which was only available to large energy producers and distributors until the introduction of this technology.

Large and/or critical energy users - from cities and colleges to manufacturing, agriculture and military operations – have different needs. Some require a resilient energy system to protect their communities during an emergency, while others need to optimise their energy to drive business growth or protect critical operations . . . and all want greener energy sources. Whatever the reasons, Energyneering’s customisable Smart Microgrid solutions deliver optimal performance to meet a wide range of critical and constantly changing business needs.

In addition to offering adequate solutions for the elimination of utility-grid shortcomings, Energyneering’s Smart Microgrids promise these benefits:

Optimise Efficiency

  • Reduced energy costs.
  • Reduced price volatility and dependence on grid pricing and availability.
  • •Utilisation of highly efficient fossil-fuel-based distributed generation. Use of low-emissions fuel (natural gas) systems and highly efficient power supply solutions (combined heat and power, CHP) increases overall fuel efficiency and maximises incentives.

Improve Sustainability

  • Improves job creation, especially in Africa, in the long term. Microgrid structures will be attractive for businesses, which will eventually bring about local jobs, not only in Microgrid maintenance.

Who should invest in an Energyneering Smart Microgrid?

The client profile for Microgrid owners is expanding rapidly, but the following is a good synopsis of the type of organisations that will reap the greatest benefits. If you can put checks by at least two of the three criteria below, then you should explore Energyneering’s Smart Microgrids in more detail:

  • Do you have a development, campus (multiple buildings) that uses or needs 500kW or more of capacity and desire 24/7 reliability, improved efficiency and sustainability?
  • Do you have or desire to have one or more sources of distributed energy resource at your development, campus/ facility?
  • Do you have high electricity rates? The lowest rate in South Africa is R0.58 cents/kWh with the highest rate being R8.46/kWh in certain industries.

Build a green Smart Microgrid for greater flexibility

An increasing number of businesses and developments are also producing solar or wind-based electricity onsite to reduce their carbon footprint and offset high grid energy costs. In Europe alone, it is estimated that three million energy users are now generating some of their own power. By adding an energy storage system, you can maximise self-consumption of this energy. It will also extend your energy flexibility by gaining more control over when you can use it.

Energyneering’s Schneider-Electric Smart Microgrid platform will unify the management of all these energy resources - loads, production, and storage - to ensure you fully monetise them. Building your own Microgrid in this way also gives you a green energy reserve that can keep critical loads or processes running during short-term blackouts. When augmented with other local energy sources, such as natural gas-powered generators, you can ‘island’ your entire site from the main grid in the event of an extended outage. Of course, this will depend on what your local regulations allow – and we’ll ensure compliance.

These systems are becoming increasingly popular on an international scale with government entities and large-scale corporations. Mega-corporations such as Google and Apple continue their substantial investments into Microgrids to power their factory energy needs.

Similar, to off grid systems, Microgrids provide consistent electricity access to local and regional areas that otherwise would suffer low-level power and blackouts. The systems generate sufficient power for township use, with storage capabilities to support whole communities.

Investment payback periods are being heavily reduced as solar photovoltaic technologies develop, and production costs become more efficient. These changes in the global solar market are well reported, and expected to continue. With adoption rates of solar increasing annually, electricity is no longer a monopoly marketplace.

In fact, Energyneering has already fully designed and constructed a Microgrid plant at the utility scale solar farm down in De Aar in the Northern Cape, South Africa. The Microgrid for the Siemens 75MW off grid solar plant/farm system was completed in 2013 - in record time, and under budget.

The Microgrid supports a plant that produces 164GWh annually to the grid, offsetting 49’2m litres of diesel representing a saving of 137 268 tonnes of CO2. This is the equivalent of powering 49 525 average South African households with electricity each for a year.

More about Energyneering and Schneider-Electric Microgrids

Introducing Energyneering’s Advanced Schneider-Electric Microgrid Solutions

As a global energy management specialist, Schneider-Electric together with Energyneering offers the most advanced Microgrid solutions available.

Our industry-leading portfolio of software, hardware, controls, and services safely and seamlessly integrate to deliver a fully customised Microgrid solution - all delivered by the industry’s most experienced Energyneering team.

In addition, our scaled approach across all our disciplines allows Energyneering and Schneider-Electric to deliver innovative and economically feasible Microgrid solutions with greater speed and precision than other vendors. Plus, our flexible project delivery approach combined with our expertise in power systems reduces risk and complexity.

Flexible Design to Meet Your Needs

Energyneering recognises that every client has different organisational goals and are at a different point in their energy management journey. That’s why we offer a flexible Microgrid design featuring a scalable set of grid components designed to efficiently manage your entire energy infrastructure, including distributed energy resources, storage, and load demand.

Explore Our Advanced Microgrid Solutions 

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Superior Engineering Services Ensure Superior Performance

Microgrid Engineering Services

Energyneering and Schneider-Electric have decades of experience in demand and supply side energy operations. Our expertise and leadership as a technology integrator in smart grid technologies, energy management, and electrical distribution make us a one-stop-shop for your Microgrid project. We deliver a cost-effective Microgrid solution that perfectly integrates with your operation and infrastructure.

How We Develop Your Customised Microgrid

Power System Engineering

Our PowerXpert System engineers have completed more than 10,000 power system assessments, studies, and designs. We solve complex power system issues from utility connection to protection to control systems, all the way down to the smallest distribution panels.

Our Energyneering team has the knowledge and experience to develop a safe and reliable Microgrid system, including:

  • Protective device time-current coordination analysis
  • Short-circuit fault current analysis
  • Load-flow analysis
  • Power quality and harmonic analysis
  • Switching transient modelling and analysis
  • Arc flash analysis and mitigation strategies
  • Distributed energy resource modelling and energy contribution analysis
  • On-grid and island mode stability analysis
  • Island mode transition, grounding modification, and black start analysis

Schneider-Electric’s StruxureWare™ Software for Energyneering’s Smart Microgrids Puts You in the Driver’s Seat

The StruxureWare™ software suite is a uniquely integrated platform of applications to manage critical energy and other resource data across your Microgrid. Interoperable and intuitive applications with elegant and consistent user interfaces work together to realise significant savings on capital and operational expenses by:

  • Controlling energy costs
  • Managing business operations and optimising performance
  • Meeting reporting and compliance obligations
  • Providing customised, timely performance metrics

StruxureWare Demand Side Operation

This software optimises the operation of your Microgrid and distributed energy assets. Utilising real-time pricing data feeds and weather conditions in conjunction with predicted load profiles, it uses advanced algorithms to coordinate communications with the smart grid and optimises your Microgrid operation. By tracking, forecasting, and visualising all Microgrid parameters, it helps you control energy assets to maximise financial benefits while maintaining optimal operation. Demand Side Operation automatically predicts your energy flexibility for the next period and proposes it to the system for evaluation (with manual override capability). The system will then coordinate actions at scheduled times (for example by curtailing non-critical loads) and will manage all payment transactions.

StruxureWare Power SCADA Expert

Unlike generic SCADA packages, PowerSCADA Expert is tuned specifically for Microgrid operation to enable electrical distribution network monitoring & control, through tools to enhance power system reliability & availability, optimises energy asset performance, & maximise operational efficiency. Its powerful architecture combines Schneider Electric’s proven expertise in electrical distribution with the speed & control of high-performance SCADA to reduce outages while increasing Microgrid system efficiency.

  • Highly scalable, flexible, and open architecture
  • System-wide data acquisition and interoperability
  • Power quality analysis and compliance monitoring
  • Alarm management and event logging for root cause analysis and downtime mitigation
  • Extensive tools to facilitate energy efficiency programs and power distribution management
  • Operational business intelligence and visualisation tools - dashboards, reports etc.
  • Unique productivity tools speed deployment and lower costs
  • Essential protocols (Modbus, IEC61850, DNP3, SNMP) provide superior network integration and interoperability, ensuring all components interact seamlessly
  • Extensible through scripting and interoperability to fit specific workflow and operations
  • Scalability that evolves with your site to protect your investment
  • Modularity and redundancy to ensure high availability and fast response times

Explore Our StruxureWare Power SCADA Solution.

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Schneider Electric’s PowerLogicTM  Control System Provides Energyneering Microgrids with State-of-the-Art Control and Monitoring

Our PowerLogicTM Control System is built from the same standard, rugged, and reliable hardware platform used in thousands of critical applications in the industrial automation and process industries. A modular architecture provides an optimised solution today and can be easily expanded to control additional equipment in the future. Its flexible I/O and communications architecture easily adapts to a wide range of distributed energy resources and Microgrid equipment.

  • Pre-wired, pre-tested, and ready to install to speed installation and reduce site labour
  • Ethernet I/O architecture eliminates the limitations of proprietary network topologies, while providing a high level of performance
  • Dual ports provide communications and cable redundancy for high reliability operation
  • Compatible with standard network infrastructure devices, tools, and network analysers to simplify maintenance and training
  • Microgrid software applications built using non-proprietary standard tool sets, easily modified and maintained

Explore Our PowerLogicTM  Control System.

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