Underscoring how much California has become an epicenter of microgrid development, one of the industry’s leading players, Schneider Electric, this week announced a California Energy Action Program.
Schneider unveiled the plan in conjunction with the official launch of GreenStruxure, a new company that focuses on microgrids for medium-size buildings.
The energy action program will use analytics and artificial intelligence to help identify places and businesses that will benefit most from resilience solutions. Schneider will share the information with local decision-makers, regulators and others to create dialogue and spur action. It will begin its work in high-fire threat zones.
The program comes as California grapples with wildfires unprecedented in scope, which have led to power outages as utilities shut off electricity lines that can spark the fires. On top of that, California experienced a blackout in August when extreme heat left the state short on power supply.
“As regions continue to suffer from historic wildfires, climate events, public safety power shutoffs and rolling blackouts, building owners from hospitals to refrigerated warehouses need to have confidence that their power will be there when they and their customers need it most. Additionally, with the continued growth of electric vehicles, more localized resilient and sustainable energy sources are a must,” said Annette Clayton, CEO and president, Schneider Electric North America.
Clayton added that Schneider created the energy action program “to let our 1,200-plus employees in the state and tens of thousands of customers in California and neighboring states know they’re not alone, solutions are available and we are ready to assist them.”.
The energy action program also is designed to educate businesses across California about their energy options and mobilize Schneider’s California distributors, contractors, technology providers, system integrators and utility stakeholders.
GreenStruxure, a new partnership of Schneider and Huck Capital, focuses on medium-sized buildings that deliver critical community services such as hospitals and health care facilities, food and beverage operations, refrigerated warehouses, governmental buildings and universities. The company also hopes to provide microgrids for California’s major industries, such as agriculture and wine. The target customer spends at least $30,000/month or about $350,000/year for electricity.
GreenStruxure contrasts with another similarly named Schneider company, based on the size of the buildings served. AlphaStruxure, a joint venture with The Carlyle Group, provides microgrids for larger commercial and industrial facilities and infrastructure projects, such as airport modernizations.
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