- Texas utility Oncor, in partnership with S&C Electric and Schneider Electric, has developed an innovative microgrid to showcase the integration of distributed generation and storage technologies.
- The project, built near Lancaster, Texas, consists of four interconnected microgrids and utilizes nine different distributed generation sources
- The project was constructed at Oncor's System Operating Services Facility, and will be used to demonstrate the benefits of microgrids to residents, students, policymakers and businesses.
Oncor, S&C and Schneider have partnered to develop a Texas microgrid that consists of four smaller, interconnected microgrids, and which utilizes nine different distributed generation sources, including: two solar photovoltaic arrays, a microturbine, two energy storage units and four generators.
The companies said the microgrid is engineered to help integrate newly-installed energy storage, renewable power sources and to boost grid reliability. S&C and Schneider Electric worked jointly to combine their hardware and software technologies for the new facility. The project includes an integrated demonstration center which Oncor will use to show the grid's potential benefit to customers.
"I am confident that Oncor's system is one of the most advanced and comprehensive microgrids in the market today," Philip Barton, Schneider Electric's director of microgrids, said in a statement.
S&C and Schneider Electric said they developed a distribution automation scheme which can use grid solutions from both companies — enabling the four microgrids to effectively operate independently or as one larger microgrid.
"Improving power reliability and optimizing generation assets requires disruptive technologies that allow customers to work on and off the grid," David Chiesa, director of microgrid business development for S&C, said in a statement announcing the project. "Oncor's microgrid is showing the world how utilities can help their communities in the future."
The companies said that during an outage S&C's distribution automation equipment and Schneider Electric's microgrid controller can use high-speed communications and distributed grid intelligence detect grid issues. "It does all of this in a matter of seconds, or faster than a customer could find their flashlight in the dark," said Chiesa.