Conventional fuel sources will remain an integral part of the energy system but renewables are expected to grow from approximately 1 percent to 40-50 percent of the total system during the next few decades. Shell’s microgrid is intended to speed the adoption of technology by helping researchers better understand the challenges of integrating the components to provide safe, seamless, reliable power to consumers.
Microgrids are integrated systems of multiple power generation sources and electric loads. They can produce and distribute electricity and operate independently from the larger power grid, and they can be used to provide reliable service to remote areas. Black & Veatch is leading the design of microgrids that help companies 1) achieve sustainability goals; 2) maintain business continuity by avoiding power disruptions; and 3) save on their utility costs.
Shell’s microgrid operates at the Shell Technology Center Houston (STCH), where approximately 2,000 scientists, technologists and engineers are working to solve energy challenges. Shell has the potential to make a significant impact on the global shift toward renewable energy, and Black & Veatch is partnering with the company to unlock that potential by testing new energy sources in a risk-free environment.
“We know the energy system is changing and inside Shell, we are trying to figure out what type of projects we are going to build in the future. There’s no better way to do that than learning it ourselves, on site,” said Ajay Mehta, Shell’s General Manager for New Energies Research & Technology
Black & Veatch designed and constructed a microgrid that brings together solar photovoltaic and a natural gas-fueled reciprocating engine, as well as battery energy storage technology and other elements to create a sustainable, resilient, flexible microgrid system. The microgrid also features ASSET360®, a cloud-based data analytics platform available through Black & Veatch's software subsidiary, Atonix Digital. It will provide Shell with performance monitoring and data analysis as they examine energy consumption.