Rolls-Royce has expanded energy storage acquisition Qinous into a microgrid competence centre.

In January, Rolls-Royce announced that it had acquired a 73.1% majority stake in the Berlin-based storage specialist, completing the deal this month.

Now it has expanding it into the Microgrid Competence Center, a result of Rolls-Royce investing heavily in its distributed energy systems business.

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“With its solutions, our Microgrid Competence Center in Berlin is making a major contribution to decarbonizing energy systems and is offering a comprehensive solution portfolio,” said Andreas Schell, chief executive of Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems Division.

He said the centre “ranges from simple storage solutions to complex microgrids that intelligently combine battery storage with renewable energies, and with diesel or gas gensets”.

“We are convinced that microgrids are among the optimum solutions for tomorrow’s environmentally friendly, high-efficiency power supply systems. With Qinous, we are expanding our microgrid expertise and combining the dynamics of a start-up with the security and reliability of a large corporate group.”

He said the start-up has already proven the functionality and reliability of microgrid solutions in over 50 projects across the world.

The new competence center’s portfolio includes energy supply systems that are connected to the public power grid or are fully independent of it.

Andreas Görtz, vice-president of the Power Generation business unit, said: “The microgrids complete our product and solution line-up for distributed power generation. We’re offering our customers tailor-made total solutions featuring things like solar and wind power generation.”

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“Because Rolls-Royce itself develops and produces key components such as the battery storage facilities, the microgrid control system and the generator sets, we possess in-depth knowledge of their features and characteristics, thereby giving the customer a turnkey total solution that is integrated perfectly from both a technical and economical perspectives,” said Cordelia Thielitz, who heads up the Microgrid Solutions business unit at Rolls-Royce.

“We’re seeing great global demand for microgrids in a wide range of application areas,” added Cordelia Thielitz when asked about the market prospects for this business segment.

In countries such as Germany and the US, the microgrid solutions are particularly attractive for industrial applications, among others, as a result of their CO2 reduction and secure energy supply credentials. Microgrids are offering grid and power plant operators new sources of income and opportunities to save money.

Qinous founder Steffen Heinrich, who remains managing director and shareholder of Rolls-Royce Solutions Berlin, said: “We’re proud of having turned this start-up into a competence center for a global company, and are looking forward to using our knowledge and experience in battery storage to help fully-featured microgrids become a success.”