Schneider Electric to Build Advanced Microgrid at Nature Preserve

Sept. 11, 2017
The Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve will soon be home to a new advanced microgrid, installed by Schneider Electric and Faith Technologies.

The Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve – which touts an 18,000 square-foot environmental center in Wisconsin – will also soon be home to a new advanced microgrid.

Schneider Electric will partner with Faith Technologies to build and support the fully islandable microgrid, which will provide power to the non-profit nature preserve’s environmental center and contribute to its resilience and sustainability goals, according to Schneider Electric. The project is expected to be completed in December.

The push to decentralize energy production has spurred growth in distributed energy resources, making partnerships like this increasingly common.

The push to decentralize energy production has spurred growth in distributed energy resources (DER)  making partnerships like this increasingly common. Such alliances work toward cleaner energy infrastructure. This fits well with the mission of the Appleton, Wisconsin nature preserve, which teaches environmental ethics through education, recreation and conservation.

The environmental center will use the Schneider Electric Energy Control Center and EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor, a cloud-based, demand-side energy management software platform. The software will manage the use of the energy resources that come together to power the microgrid. Through predicative algorithms, EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor helps optimize operation of the various distributed energy components.

On top of managing the DER, the tool provides remote monitoring, real-time energy price management, demand response requests, peak shaving, carbon dioxide tracking and storm hardening services.

“With its combination of innovative hardware and software solutions, the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve will have one of the most advanced microgrids in the world, advancing the preserve’s ability to manage its production and consumption of renewable energy and control energy spend,” said Philip Barton, director of Schneider Electric’s Microgrid Competency Center.

Barton also touched on how the advanced microgrid will work in tandem with the Internet of Things:

“By using tools like Schneider Electric Energy Control Center and EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor and marrying the Internet of Things to its energy system, the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve microgrid can take control of its energy future, optimizing when it consumes, produces or stores energy to achieve the highest levels of sustainability, reliability and efficiency,” he said.

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The advanced microgrid will be managed in part by the Schneider Electric Energy Control Center, which works to simplify and automate the adoption of solar, cogeneration (aka combined heat and power) and energy storage.

“This project represents a forward-looking use case of energy systems that aim to establish a more resilient, efficient, economic and cleaner grid,” said Mike Jansen, CEO of Faith Technologies. “The advanced control features integrated with Bubolz Nature Preserve’s microgrid will benefit the facility and local community, supporting the development of a more intelligent and sustainable energy system.”

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About the Author

Sarah Rubenoff

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