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article imageMake way for the 'Rolls-Royce of microgrids'

By Karen Graham     Oct 12, 2018 in Technology
Berlin - Yet another global name is expanding its microgrid play — Rolls-Royce — in an announcement last week that it has taken a stake in an energy storage and controls startup and will now offer turnkey microgrids.
The transportation and power technology company will add batteries, controls, and renewables to its microgrid line following its investment in the Berlin, German start-up Qinous, according to Microgrid Knowledge.
Rolls-Royce joins several major US and international energy developers and technology companies now pursuing the microgrid market, among them ABB, Ameresco, Eaton, Enel, Engie, GE, NRG Energy, S&C Electric, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Tesla and Veolia, along with North American utility giants Duke and Exelon.
Founded in 2013, Berlin-headquartered Qinous develops and manufactures fully integrated plug & play battery storage systems (QINOUS ESS) with integrated Microgrid and Energy Management System (MEMS). The QINOUS ESS applies to commercial and industrial customers in off-grid and on-grid applications from 30kW into several megawatts capacity.
“We have identified our customers’ needs in terms of autonomous energy supply systems that are efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly,” said Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, in yesterday’s announcement. “For this reason, we are now adding turnkey microgrids to our current portfolio.”
Demand for microgrids is growing
Microgrids combine diesel, gas and renewable powered sources with batteries and a control system that links up all the elements in an intelligent energy management system (ESS). The batteries are lithium-ion and are able to react to changes in frequency in a matter of milliseconds.
Rolls-Royce is adding turnkey microgrids to its current portfolio.
Rolls-Royce is adding turnkey microgrids to its current portfolio.
Batteries discharge during peak demand to limit grid import below a specific threshold, according to the company's website. In combination with intermittent renewable energies, the batteries charge when excess energy is available and release energy at specific rates to provide continuous ramps.
Rolls Royce is building a microgrid demonstration project in southern Germany, which Andreas Schell said will help potential customers understand their own projects’ needs. Financial details of the individual investment being made by Rolls-Royce are not being disclosed.
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