Rolls-Royce and ABB have announced a global partnership to work together on microgrid technology with advanced automation that seamlessly integrates distributed energy resources including renewables and energy storage. Together the two companies will offer an innovative, energy-efficient microgrid solution for utilities, islands, as well as commercial and industrial establishments.
With electricity being the lifeblood of an economy, reliable power supply – even during harsh weather conditions and times of peak consumption – is critical for economic growth. Renewable energy is a viable solution to support uninterrupted power as well as encourage clean energy use. This can be channelled through microgrids – small scale electric grids that combine power from distributed energy generation sources such as co-generation plants, diesel- and gas-powered gensets and renewable sources with batteries, all managed with a control system that links the elements in an intelligent energy management system and deploys it to fulfill specific demands or loads. Microgrids can function independently off-grid, connected to the main power grid, or in “islanded” mode.
Microgrid solutions that orchestrate energy storage, solar, wind and gas or diesel engines, benefit utilities, as well as industries and commercial sites that are looking for 24/7 power supply alongside ways to bring down costs and reduce carbon emissions. Microgrids enable resilient power supply even with high penetration of intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Digital automation and control systems act as the ‘brain’, coordinating the various distributed energy resources and loads for the microgrid to function efficiently.
Rolls-Royce offers MTU Onsite Energy brand power system solutions: from mission-critical, standby and continuous power to combined generation of heat and power, and microgrids. “Due to the transformation towards decarbonization, customers need to pursue sustainable power options that also deliver maximum profitability. For this, we rely primarily on microgrids, which are autonomous energy supply systems that are efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly,” said Andreas Schell, CEO, Rolls-Royce Power Systems. “Combining our integrated MTU diesel and gas genset system technology and our control solutions, with ABB’s modular microgrid solution, control capability and remote service will offer customers the combined strengths of the two world leaders in technology.” “ABB Ability e-mesh can ensure a stable power grid, even with a high share of renewable energy from various sources, working smoothly together with already installed gas or diesel engines,” said Massimo Danieli, head of ABB’s grid automation business line within the company’s Power Grids business. “ABB has a vast number of microgrid installations globally, and through our partnership with Rolls-Royce, we will further support the growing interest for microgrid solutions world over.”
The ABB Ability e-mesh solution will provide power generation asset owners with a vertically integrated, unified view of their distributed energy resources and renewable power generation that is quick to deploy and that reduce operational costs. Cloud operations, site and fleet optimisation, weather and load forecast and machine learning algorithms offer tremendous insights for decision-making, such as knowing where to increase investments on maintenance or how to increase revenue streams to operate assets more profitable.