Details on Schneider Electric’s microgrid project at the Port of Long Beach

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Schneider Electric has agreed to design, engineer and build a new microgrid that will enable critical energy resilience at the Port of Long Beach in the city of Long Beach, Calif. Schneider Electric will create a microgrid technology demonstration which will include an integrated system of distributed energy resources (DER) and microgrid controls, enabling added resilience via long-term islanding at the port’s critical response facility, the Joint Command and Control Center (JCCC), which functions as the port’s hub for security.

Schneider Electric’s $5.2 million contract with the Port is part of a $7.1 million project that is partially funded by a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC).

“Ensuring a stable supply of energy is crucial to the zero-emissions future the Harbor Commission envisions for the Port of Long Beach,” said Tracy Egoscue, Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President. “We welcome this microgrid technology demonstration in Long Beach.”

Seaport design

Traditional backup power sources for seaports – usually diesel-powered generators – are not in alignment with the long-term energy resilience, sustainability and efficiency goals of contemporary critical facilities. Diesel generators have limited capacity for continuous, ongoing power during catastrophic outages and do not enable sustainable energy usage. In addition to boosting critical facilities’ energy resilience and sustainability through islanding and distributed energy resources (DER) integration, microgrids can also help lower energy costs through renewable energy production and enable smart load management.

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For the Port of Long Beach – the second-busiest port in the nation, which handles over $194 billion in cargo per year – installation of a microgrid will bolster energy resilience and ensure business continuity at all of its marine terminals while helping achieve its goal of becoming a zero-emission operation. To meet the Port’s extensive resilience needs, Schneider Electric will draw upon expertise that has previously supplied marine and shore power solutions to more than 2,700 global merchant marine sector clients.

Hardware selections

Schneider Electric will design and install the microgrid, which will include the preconfigured hardware solution, Energy Control Center – DC coupled and merged with technologies from partner EnSync Energy, mobile storage solution, microgrid controls and EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor, the cloud-connected, demand-side energy management software platform that simplifies the Port’s DER integration and allows microgrid operators to collect, forecast and automatically optimize operations. The project will also include EcoStruxure Power solutions including Power Monitoring and Power SCADA Operation.

The project will also include installation of a 300 kilowatt (kW) array photovoltaic (PV) system for energy production, integration of a 250 kW microgrid-extending mobile battery energy, a 500 kW Diesel Generator and the installation of additional microgrid controls to allow demand response, peak shaving, and islanded operations for energy resilience. As part of the project, Energy Control Center will also leverage 330 kW and 670 kilowatt per hour (kWh) stationary battery energy storage.

Information gathering

Over the course of the microgrid installation, Schneider Electric will work with the Port of Long Beach to compile and analyze 12 months of performance data to ensure the microgrid is effectively helping the port meet its energy resilience goals. Schneider Electric will also work with Long Beach City College and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to strengthen local workforce development and training initiatives, in addition to providing paid, on-the-job training to apprentices during construction.

“Across all industries and public entities, there is increasing demand to bolster energy resilience to support business continuity at critical facilities. The plans of the Port of Long Beach illustrate the foresight required to augment ongoing electrification efforts with resilience,” said Mark Feasel, Vice President, Smart Grid & Microgrid, Schneider Electric. “This new Microgrid will leverage advanced controls to enhance resilience, and increase safety and security for critical infrastructure at the port.”

Funding from the California Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) uses ratepayer money to support demonstration and deployment projects that achieve the State’s energy policy goals at the lowest possible cost. As a result, the project is designed to offer a technology demonstration to be visited by federal, state, and local response agencies, allowing the microgrid to showcase lessons learned for how facilities across the state can utilize microgrids in order to enable more sustainable, cost-effective and resilient energy usage. To this end, Schneider Electric will develop a “lessons learned” guidebook following the project to support replicability of microgrid installations at other facilities and the further commercialization of microgrid systems, as part of its effort to educate and share information with other California seaports about the benefits of microgrids at such facilities.

— Solar Builder magazine

Schneider Electric sending 1,000 Conext hybrid inverters to Puerto Rico

Schneider Electric inverters

Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico over 90 days ago and many residents are still without power, making this the longest major blackout in U.S. history. Officials have estimated it could take four to six months to restore the power grid to full functionality.

As we’ve noted before, solar companies have been trying to do their part to help. The latest: Schneider Electric is supporting the rebuild of several major solar and energy storage plants and aiding the locals by rapidly deploying off-grid products to regain power to their homes.

One thousand Conext XW+ hybrid inverters at 5.5 kW and 6.8 kW power levels are being made available to distributers in Puerto Rico.

“Schneider Electric is continuing to support relief efforts in Puerto Rico. The Conext XW+ hybrid inverter is a unique off-grid solution. Our intent in supplying these units is to retrofit the existing non-functional photovoltaic systems that can provide much needed power immediately. When the grid comes back online, the Conext XW+ units will work in conjunction with the grid and support its capabilities over the long term,” said Evan Vogel, Vice President of Marketing, Schneider Electric Solar.

As a business with a large local presence in Puerto Rico, local Schneider Electric teams are working with customers to offer relief to the affected areas. The primary focus is to ensure people regain access to reliable, safe energy as soon as possible.

2017 Solar Inverter Buyer’s Guide

— Solar Builder magazine

Schneider Electric expands power ratings of Conext SmartGen inverter line

Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric Solar has extended its Conext SmartGen inverter power ratings for greater flexibility and optimization of both small and large utility power plants. For large scale power plants, the CS2200 is now available and is optimized for 4.4 MW stations using two inverters. To expand the power ratings for smaller power plants in North America, the introduction of the CS1666 provides an optimum power block for 5 MW power plants.

Why is this cool?

In many cases, changing the inverter nameplate power ratings after submitting the interconnect applications can result in delays in processing. The flexibility offered by the range of power ratings also makes it easier to match up with any power plant capacity limits that are tied to the nameplate power rating of the inverters.

The system’s ease of use will also take advantage of Schneider Electric’s Power EcoSystem, including the Conext Viewer user interface, the industry changing Conext PowerCloud, and the Conext Advisor 2 monitoring and control platform. Below is a list of available ratings:

Conext SmartGen Models:
• CS2200: 2200 kW/2200 kVA for North America and IEC markets
• CS2000: 2000 kW/2000 kVA for North America and IEC markets
• CS1800: 1800 kW/2000 kVA for North America and IEC markets
• CS1666-1-NA: 1666 kW/1666 kVA for North America markets
• CS1666-2-NA: 1666 kW/1831 kVA for North America markets
• CS1666-3-NA: 1666 kW/1851 kVA for North America markets

— Solar Builder magazine

Schneider Electric to supply back up power for Iron Edison batteries in new California solar project

Schneider Electric inverters

Iron Edison Battery Co., a Nickel Iron and Lithium Iron Phosphate battery system supplier for solar energy storage, selected Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, to supply back up power as part of a solar installation in California.

This project utilizes Schneider’s Conext XW+ inverters in a system that will provide a residence with 61.2kW of continuous backup power and 166kW-hours of total energy storage capacity. and is a testament to the versatility and scalability of the Conext XW+ platform. The 61.2kW Conext XW+ Multi-cluster consists of nine Conext XW+6848 inverter/chargers configured to 120/208V 3-phase, which happens to be the same as the utility feeder for this 45,000 square foot residence.

The Iron Edison LiFePO4 batteries are compatible with the custom charging profile provided by the Conext XW+ system. The batteries are kept full and ready for a power outage in this AC coupled system. The grid-tie micro inverters allow PV to reduce the demand from the utility grid, and can produce power to the critical loads even after the grid goes down.

“We have been working with Schneider Electric for years,” said Brandon Williams, co-founder and CEO of Iron Edison. “They offer terrific solutions for residential battery-based customers, both large and small. From an installation standpoint, the Conext XW+ inverter and charge controller are great to work with. Everything is labelled for easy installation and the power distribution panel is the best in the business. In my opinion, the best part about working with Schneider Electric is the technical support team. They are always helpful, positive, and willing to help solve the exciting technical questions that arise during an install like this.”

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This large residential project was designed by Manfred Thyssen, System Designer from OnTime Energy Solutions, a California based, family-owned and operated business. OnTime has been providing Southern California residents with reliable HVAC and solar energy services for over 20 years.

“My decision to partner with Schneider Electric on this project was a simple one,” said Thyssen. “I have had a successful relationship with great customer service for over ten years with various divisions of Schneider Electric on several large residential and commercial projects. Schneider Electric has a great off-the-shelf product that could be expanded to fit the needs and demands of this project. A project of this scale will have certain challenges, but luckily the support and engineering team at Schneider are always available and ready to provide exceptional service.”

“Schneider Electric is delighted to work with Iron Edison and OnTime Energy on this exciting project,” said Evan Vogel, Director of Marketing, Schneider Electric Solar Business. “We have seen off-grid solar make a difference in locations such as California, and know it really changes lives for the better in so many locations in developing nations where it replaces costly diesel generated energy.”

— Solar Builder magazine

DER power couple: EnSync, Schneider Electric look to advance grid edge market

Ensync energy systems

EnSync Energy Systems, a developer of distributed energy resource (DER) systems and Internet of Energy (IoE) control platforms for the utility, commercial, industrial and multi-tenant building markets, will be working with Schneider Electric to explore technology and opportunities in the DER market.

After reviewing EnSync’s Matrix Energy System, the two companies identified areas of mutual interest for collaboration. Starting in June 2017, Schneider Electric and EnSync Energy Systems will jointly explore market opportunities and technology advancements required to best serve markets utilizing distributed energy resources.

“The grid landscape is changing rapidly and DER deployments are challenging incumbent grid operating models,” said EnSync Energy executive vice president, Dan Nordloh. “Both companies feel that we are in the early stages of transformational grid edge market opportunities. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with Schneider Electric to explore these areas of collaboration.”

The growth in distributed solar generation enables decentralization of the grid and bi-directional power flows from all DERs. This provides an opportunity to integrate DER control and use it to the benefit of the overall electrical network.

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Nordloh continued, “We are transitioning from simple distributed generation into an era of integrated distributed energy resources, where renewables, storage, energy management systems and IoE control capabilities replace solar-only installations. These distributed energy resources are an efficient and economical way to solve the shortcomings of the antiquated grid network and benefit the asset owner, enabling them to participate in the capacity and energy markets, as well as provide ancillary services. Distributed energy resources are effectively virtual power plants for the grid network. We are excited to be exploring this market with a globally recognized leader in power systems.”

Navigant Research forecasts the annual market for solar plus energy storage DERs to grow to nearly $50 billion by 2026, with a 2017 to 2026 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 40 percent.

 

— Solar Builder magazine