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)
- Schneider Electric
- Optimal Power Solutions
- Princeton Power Systems
- Green Energy Corp.
- Alstom Grid
- GE Digital Energy
- 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.
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