Schneider Electric’s Microgrid Controller Named Market Leader by Navigant

Aug. 12, 2015
Schneider Electric took the top spot as the leader in microgrid controller technology in an analysis by Navigant Research. Optimal Power Solutions and Princeton Power Systems were second and third out of 15 companies.

Schneider Electric took the top spot as the leader in microgrid controller technology in an analysis released today by Navigant Research.

Optimal Power Solutions and Princeton Power Systems took the number two and three spots for this key microgrid system. The microgrid controller comes into play when a microgrid islands from the main grid, and as it optimizes and integrates its various supply resources.

The three leading companies are closely trailed by 12 others in the leadership scoring, indicating a healthy competitive field. In fact, competition among the vendors was so close, that all of the companies clustered within 20 points of one another in the Navigant scoring.  With no one dominating the market, any of the companies could  eventually emerge as market leaders, Navigant said.

“Companies both large and small are finding opportunities in the broad microgrid space, but the key determination in the controls developers/integrators market is the approach to optimizing a microgrid,” says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “While competition is still wide open, the 15 companies included in this report all have a stake in how the market responds to technologies that allow disparate distributed energy resources to work together as a system, whether the microgrid is connected to a utility grid or is functioning in island mode.”

A slightly different  ranking of the companies put Siemens in the number two slot. That ranking represented overall score, not leadership score, according to Asmus. By comparison, to make the top three for leadership, the vendors had to achieve a certain threshold score in both strategy and execution.

Schneider, however, took top place in both microgrid controller rankings.

“What makes Schneider Electric’s solution different is that it is based on 20 years of power control experience so it’s proven and we have had great success with it from a utility scale, to a community scale, to a campus scale,” said Philip Barton, director of microgrids and distributed energy resource management, Schneider Electric.

Top 10  Microgrid Controller Vendors (Overall Score)
  1. Schneider Electric
  2. Siemens
  3. Optimal Power Solutions
  4. Princeton Power Systems
  5. Tecogen
  6. Green Energy Corp.
  7. ABB
  8. Alstom Grid
  9. GE Digital Energy
  10. Blue Pillar

The most successful microgrid controller companies have robust project portfolios,  highly functional microgrid controllers, and sustainable and innovative ways to monetize their solutions, according to Navigant.

The list of companies offering microgrid controllers is growing as U.S. interest grows in the technology, as a way at to ensure reliable electric suppy, integrated more renewable energy and bring more local control to energy supply. Navigant noted that utilities “are shifting from staunch opposition to the concept of microgrids to curious investigations of business models and technology trends that portend to change the way they have traditionally done business.”

Several major U.S. utilities are now exploring microgrid development through competitive affililiates.

The report, Navigant Research Leaderboard Report: Microgrid Controls, examines the strategy and execution of 15 project developers/ integrators with microgrid controls platforms and rates them on 12 criteria.

The research firm said that it conducted the ranking to create an objective assessment of  relative strengths and weaknesses of the companies in  the global microgrid controls market.

An executive summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

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About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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