MICROGRID SOLUTIONS

Micro- Minigrid Solutions (0.1kW – 100kW)

GTM, Navigant & TMR Research forecasts Microgrid capacity in the US will exceed 1.8 gigawatts by 2018 and the global market is set to grow five-fold from about R116 billion in 2013 to R580 billion in 2020. Energyneering Zimbabwe is developing a portfolio of Microgrid projects to meet growing demand. These projects are built upon the success of Energyneering Zimbabwe’s 75MW Solar Farm and Microgrid at De Aar, designed for a Siemens IPP Solar PV Power Plant. Energyneering Zimbabwe is an established and trusted partner that has substantial Microgrid experience and unique design philosophy that makes every system scalable, flexible and future-proof to adapt to your changing needs.

 

What is Micro-grid?

A Microgrid is distributed generation located close to demand delivering electricity with minimal losses. A Microgrid includes a localised grouping of electricity generation, energy storage, and loads that normally operates connected to a traditional centralised grid (Macrogrid). This single point of common coupling with the Macrogrid can be disconnected. The Microgrid can then function autonomously. Generation and loads in a Microgrid are usually interconnected at low voltage and it can operate in DC, AC or the combination of both. From the point of view of the grid operator, a connected Microgrid can be controlled as if it were one entity.

 

Microgrid generation resources can include stationary batteries, fuel cells, solar, wind, or other energy sources. The multiple dispersed generation sources and ability to isolate the Microgrid from a larger network would provide highly reliable electric power. Produced heat from generation sources such as microturbines could be used for local process heating, water or space heating, allowing flexible trade-off between the needs for heat and electric power.

 

  • Small Microgrids typically cover 30-50 km radius
  • Small power stations of 5-10MW serve the Microgrids
  • Generate power locally to reduce dependence on long distance transmission lines and cut transmission losses.

How will Energyneering’s Smart Microgrid benefit my organisation?

Energy users are quickly realizing the importance of local energy generation, as well as more efficient management of renewable energy resources. Severe storms, power outages, aging energy infrastructure and rising costs have created a period of energy uncertainty. Thankfully, the introduction of Smart Microgrids is shifting control of our electricity system to the end-user by providing an advanced level of energy flexibility and control, which was only available to large energy producers and distributors until the introduction of this technology.

 

Large and/or critical energy users - from cities and colleges to manufacturing, agriculture and military operations – have different needs. Some require a resilient energy system to protect their communities during an emergency, while others need to optimize their energy to drive business growth or protect critical operations . . . and all want greener energy sources. Whatever the reasons, Ryan & Macayla’s customizable Smart Microgrid solutions deliver optimal performance to meet a wide range of critical and constantly changing business needs.

 

In addition to offering adequate solutions for the elimination of utility-grid shortcomings, Energyneering’s Smart Microgrids promise these benefits:

Optimise Efficiency

 

  • Reduced energy costs.
  • Reduced price volatility and dependence on grid pricing and availability.
  • Utilisation of highly efficient fossil-fuel-based distributed generation. Use of low-emissions fuel (natural gas) systems and highly efficient power supply solutions (combined heat and power, CHP) increases overall fuel efficiency and maximises incentives.

 

Improve Sustainability

 

  • Improves job creation, especially in Africa, in the long term. Microgrid structures will be attractive for businesses, which will eventually bring about local jobs, not only in Microgrid

Who should invest in an Energyneering Zimbabwe's Smart Microgrid?

The client profile for Microgrid owners is expanding rapidly, but the following is a good synopsis of the type of organisations that will reap the greatest benefits. If you can put checks by at least two of the three criteria below, then you should explore Energyneering’s Smart Microgrids in more detail:

 

  • Do you have a development, campus (multiple buildings) that uses or needs 500kW or more of capacity and desire 24/7 reliability, improved efficiency and sustainability?
  • Do you have or desire to have one or more sources of distributed energy resource at your development, campus/ facility?
  • Do you have high electricity rates? The lowest rate in South Africa is R0.58 cents/kWh with the highest rate being R8.46/kWh in certain industries.

 

Build a green Smart Microgrid for greater flexibility

 

An increasing number of businesses and developments are also producing solar or wind-based electricity onsite to reduce their carbon footprint and offset high grid energy costs. In Europe alone, it is estimated that three million energy users are now generating some of their own power. By adding an energy storage system, you can maximise self-consumption of this energy. It will also extend your energy flexibility by gaining more control over when you can use it.

 

Energyneering’s Schneider-Electric Smart Microgrid platform will unify the management of all these energy resources - loads, production, and storage - to ensure you fully monetise them. Building your own Microgrid in this way also gives you a green energy reserve that can keep critical loads or processes running during short-term blackouts. When augmented with other local energy sources, such as natural gas-powered generators, you can ‘island’ your entire site from the main grid in the event of an extended outage. Of course, this will depend on what your local regulations allow – and we’ll ensure compliance.

 

These systems are becoming increasingly popular on an international scale with government entities and large-scale corporations. Mega-corporations such as Google and Apple continue their substantial investments into Microgrids to power their factory energy needs.

 

Similar, to off grid systems, Microgrids provide consistent electricity access to local and regional areas that otherwise would suffer low-level power and blackouts. The systems generate sufficient power for township use, with storage capabilities to support whole communities.

 

Investment payback periods are being heavily reduced as solar photovoltaic technologies develop, and production costs become more efficient. These changes in the global solar market are well reported, and expected to continue. With adoption rates of solar increasing annually, electricity is no longer a monopoly marketplace.

 

In fact, Energyneering has already fully designed and constructed a Microgrid plant at the utility scale solar farm down in De Aar in the Northern Cape, South Africa. The Microgrid for the Siemens 75MW off grid solar plant/farm system was completed in 2013 - in record time, and under budget.

 

The Microgrid supports a plant that produces 164GWh annually to the grid, offsetting 49’2m litres of diesel representing a saving of 137 268 tonnes of CO2. This is the equivalent of powering 49 525 average South African households with electricity each for a year.

 

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