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Schneider Electric Redefines Microgrid Tech with BESS Innovation

Explore Schneider Electric's BESS solution, reshaping microgrid technology with enhanced resilience, renewable integration, and safety features.

Maria Guerra, Senior Editor-Battery Technology

April 29, 2024

3 Min Read
Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS)
The system offers bidirectional connectivity to the grid, providing the flexibility to operate as either grid-connected or off-grid.Courtesy of Schneider Electric

Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) are not just energy storage solutions but also emerging as pivotal components within microgrid technology. Their unique features include enhancing energy resilience during grid outages, integrating renewable energy sources, reducing peak demand charges, providing grid support services, and offering flexibility and scalability. They could also optimize energy utilization and contribute to a more sustainable and reliable future.

At its core, a BESS functions as a repository for energy generated from various sources, accumulating surplus energy during periods of abundance and releasing it when demand surpasses supply. By capturing excess energy from renewable sources like solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays, wind turbines, or other distributed generation units, BESS facilitates optimizing energy utilization within microgrids, enhancing their efficiency and self-sufficiency.

Schneider Electric's recent unveiling of its BESS solution, designed to integrate with its EcoStruxure Microgrid Flex system seamlessly, underscores energy storage's growing significance in microgrid deployment and operation. Jana Gerber, Schneider Electric’s President of North America Microgrids, stated, “Our new Battery Energy Storage System marks a significant step forward in bringing resilient, sustainable, and economical energy solutions to the market,” Gerber continued, “Amidst the global pursuit of net-zero objectives and the imperative for an enhanced grid, BESS strategically harnesses onsite generation capabilities to deliver substantial energy savings while maximizing renewable integration.”

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Enhancing energy resilience

One of the primary advantages of integrating BESS into microgrid architectures is its ability to enhance energy resilience significantly. Microgrids, by their decentralized nature, are inherently resilient to disruptions in the centralized grid infrastructure. However, including energy storage further fortifies this resilience by providing a buffer against fluctuations in energy generation or unexpected outages. During grid instability or downtime, BESS can swiftly dispatch stored energy to critical loads, ensuring uninterrupted operation and mitigating the impact of service interruptions on end-users.

Emphasizing integration, scalability, and safety

BESS is crucial in facilitating the seamless integration of renewable energy sources into microgrid ecosystems. The intermittence and variability inherent in renewables like solar and wind threaten grid stability and reliability. Schneider Electric's BESS offering, emphasizing integration, scalability, and safety, exemplifies the evolution of energy storage technologies within the microgrid domain.

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By providing a standardized, pre-engineered solution that integrates with its EcoStruxure Microgrid Flex system, Schneider Electric aims to streamline the deployment and operation of microgrids while ensuring optimal performance and efficiency.  Scalability allows the BESS solution to adapt to varying energy demands and evolving infrastructure needs. Whether to deploy the stored energy from a BESS to supply power to offices, industrial, commercial facilities, electric vehicles, or the grid. Scalability ensures that BESS can effectively meet diverse requirements without compromising performance or efficiency.

Moreover, the partnership between Schneider Electric and Graybar—a distributor of electrical, communications, and data networking products—further underscores the collaborative efforts aimed at advancing sustainable energy solutions and promoting the adoption of BESS technology. Graybar's involvement signals a growing recognition of the importance of energy storage in driving the transition toward a more resilient, sustainable energy future.

Related:Key Trends Shaping the 2024 Energy Storage Supply Chain

Scheneider’s BESS features include two connection-ready BESS options: a small, hybrid 7-feet NEMA 3R Enclosure that is both AC and DC coupled and a medium 20-feet NEMA 3R Enclosure that is AC coupled. Sizes for the family range from 60kW to 2MW in 2-hour and 4-hour configurations. The stored energy from a BESS can be discharged to supply power to offices, industrial and commercial facilities, electric vehicles, or the grid.The union of energy storage and microgrid technologies holds immense promise in addressing the evolving challenges posed by climate change, grid reliability, and energy security. As the demand for clean, reliable energy solutions continues to grow, integrating BESS into microgrid infrastructures will play a crucial role in unlocking the full potential of renewable energy sources and ensuring a resilient, decentralized energy landscape.

About the Author(s)

Maria Guerra

Senior Editor-Battery Technology, Informa Markets Engineering

Battery Technology Senior Editor Maria L. Guerra is an electrical engineer with a background in Oil & Gas consulting and experience as a Power/Analog Editor for Electronic Design.  Maria graduated from NYU Tandon School of Engineering with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE). She combines her technical expertise with her knack for writing. 

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