Rolls-Royce Power Systems is expanding its energy portfolio from diesel and gas gensets to microgrids and energy storage.

The move comes after Rolls Royce announced it has invested in Berlin-based energy storage start-up Qinous.

“As a strategic investor, the aim is to set up a partnership with Qinous for the development of innovative energy storage solutions and together offer cleaner solutions designed to meet tomorrow’s needs,” said Marcus A. Wassenberg, chief financial officer at Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

“We see this partnership as yet another milestone as we expand our activities in this business segment.”

He explained that the “increased use of renewable energies has exacerbated the challenge of how to maintain a reliable energy supply, when weather conditions are unfavourable, to meet demand. Autonomous electricity networks, or microgrids, combine cogeneration plants, diesel- and gas-powered gensets and renewable sources with batteries and a control system that links up all the elements in an intelligent energy management system that optimises the energy usage technically and economically.”

Qinous chief executive Steffen Heinrich said: “With the use of energy storage and renewable sources, operators of hotels, hospitals or schools are able to make significant fuel cost savings and at the same time protect the environment.”

He added that Qinous has gained considerable experience in the integration of battery storage and energy systems in microgrids in more than 30 projects worldwide and has already integrated MTU Onsite Energy systems from Rolls-Royce in such projects.

The investment made by Rolls-Royce – details of which have not been made public – is to be used to expand the existing product portfolio and strengthen global sales and marketing activities.

Andreas Schell, chief executive of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “We have identified our customers’ needs in terms of autonomous energy supply systems that are efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly. For this reason, we are now adding turnkey microgrids to our current portfolio. In addition to the diesel and gas gensets supplied by MTU Onsite Energy, together with our partners like Qinous we will now offer battery containers, include renewable power generation plants, and combine that with intelligent control.”

Alexander Patt, Project leader of microgrid solutions at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said that microgrids “combine clean and cost-effective renewable energies with our reliable generator sets and are thus the future of the power industry”.

“We are convinced that, with our engineering competence, we will be able to provide our customers with a total system that will give them the availability and efficiency they require.”

Energy storage and microgrids both feature in the conference programme at European Utility Week next month in Vienna. For details click here.

Both topics will also be discussed in detail at POWER-GEN International in the US in December. Click here for the line-up and to register.