Illinois utility Ameren has selected Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor to manage an advanced microgrid it operates in Champaign, adjacent to the University of Illinois.
Schneider’s cloud-based software allows facility managers and microgrid operators to collect data, forecast demand and usage, and automatically optimize the operation of its distributed energy resources using predictive algorithms.
“By deploying EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor as part of its microgrid, Ameren’s facility is building a smarter, cleaner energy infrastructure and maximizing the use of its distributed resources,” said Philip Barton, director of Schneider Electric’s Microgrid Competency Center.
The software-as-a-service platform offers tariff management, demand response requests, peak shaving, carbon dioxide tracking and storm hardening services. The innovative platform enhances microgrid performance, optimizes energy usage and supports the utility’s energy security.
The 1.475 MW Ameren microgrid is described as one of the most technologically advanced utility-scale microgrids in North America. The cybersecure microgrid includes 1 MW of natural gas generators via Caterpillar; a 100-kW, 160-foot Northern Power Systems wind turbine; a 125-kW solar array by Yingli Solar and S&C Electric’s GridMaster microgrid controller.
“By integrating microgrids into our system, we’re taking a critical step in providing a cleaner and more resilient grid for our customers,” said Ron Pate, senior vice president, Ameren Illinois. “Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor gives us a next-generation solution that will meet our needs today and enable us to scale our microgrid to provide new services and incorporate new resources for our customers in the future.”
Located at Ameren’s Technology Applications Center (TAC), the microgrid is being used by the utility to test monitoring and control methods for aggregating clean energy with advanced automation and battery storage.
Additionally, it is the only known microgrid in the nation capable of seamlessly transitioning the power source for an entire distribution circuit from exclusively distributed generation sources to the traditional power grid.
The Ameren microgrid also is one of the few in the world that operates at utility-scale voltages, between 4 kV and 34.5 kV, with multiple levels of control, according to the utility.
EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor is also deployed across various utility, industrial, commercial, government and university campuses worldwide.
Schneider Electric will be among the leading microgrid companies presenting at Microgrid 2017, Nov. 6-8, in Boston.