Schneider Electric and REC Solar are set to build an advanced microgrid in the US state of Massachusetts, the firms announced today.

The project is Schneider Electric’s third under its microgrid-as-a-service model, undertaken with REC and Duke Energy Renewables, which allows companies to build microgrids without the need for up-front capital.

Slated for installation at the company’s Process Automation North American Power Generation Centre of Excellence in the town of Foxboro, the microgrid will protect the facility’s critical R&D operations in the event of an unplanned outage as well as reducing energy costs and optimizing the use of on-site resources, the company said. 

The microgrid will feature Schneider’s EcoStruxure hybrid distributed control system to connect its components. Schneider said the control system offers advanced asset management capabilities and enables energy optimization and easy troubleshooting.

As the project’s investor owner, REC Solar will be the capital partner and will fund, own and operate the microgrid assets.

The project is planned to be completed by the end of this year.

“Our customers demand power resilience from the microgrids we install at their sites, and our facilities rely on the same high standards to keep sites online in the event of a grid outage,” said Mark Feasel, Schneider Electric’s vice-president, Utility Segment, Smart Grid & Microgrid.

“Through our existing partnership with REC Solar and Duke Energy Renewables, we have seen first-hand the benefits of installing advanced microgrids at commercial and industrial facilities through the microgrid-as-a-service business model.”

Chris Hiller, Lead Solution Architect at REC Solar, added that the microgrid-as-a-service model “makes microgrids accessible to a wider variety of customers and has prompted innovation within the industry”.