Rolls-Royce and ABB announce global microgrid co-operation

4 April 2019

Rolls-Royce and ABB have announced a global partnership on microgrid technology and advanced automation. The two companies intend to offer an innovative, energy-efficient microgrid solution for utilities, commercial and industrial entities.

The microgrid concept has come to the fore mainly because of its ability to function either off-grid, or connected to the main power grid, combined with its ability to seamlessly separate itself from the main grid, even with substantial proportions of renewables in the mix, in the event of a potential grid fault or emergency. Integrating renewable energy is a sustainable solution to support uninterrupted power as well as encourage clean energy use. Microgrids enable resilient power supply even with high penetration of intermittent renewable energy sources. Digital automation and control systems intelligently co-ordinate distributed energy resources and loads for the microgrid to function efficiently.

Rolls-Royce’s part is to offer the MTU Onsite Energy brand of recip-based power system solutions, from mission critical, standby and continuous power to CHP and  microgrids. “Due to the transformation towards decarbonisation, customers need to pursue sustainable power options that also deliver utmost 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’s ‘Ability e-mesh’ [product] 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 globally.”  

The ABB Ability e-mesh solution is designed to offer power generation asset owners a vertically integrated, unified view of their distributed energy resources and renewable power generation. Cloud operations, site and fleet optimisation, weather and load forecast and machine learning algorithms offer insights for decision-making, says ABB, such as knowing where to increase investments on maintenance or how to increase revenue streams to operate assets more profitably.


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