Microgrid to power environmental centre at US nature preserve

US-based electrical design and engineering firm Faith Technologies and Schneider Electric are jointly building a microgrid to power a nature preserve in Wisconsin state.

The microgrid at the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve in the city of Appleton will include solar PV, a hydrogen fuel cell, battery energy storage, a combined heat and power (CHP) microturbine and a gas-fired genset.

The microgrid will power the nature preserve’s new environmental centre as well as smaller buildings on the property, the companies said. It is eventually expected to achieve net-zero status for the environmental centre as well as 50 per cent energy savings over its lifetime.

Faith Technologies will build the microgrid and will install Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure energy management software. à‚ 

The companies said the facility will open in January.

Philip Barton, director of Schneider Electric’s Microgrid Competency Centre, said: “Photovoltaic solar is the fastest growing energy resource in America, and Faith Technologies and Schneider Electric are working with innovators like Bubolz to bring together distributed energy resources like cogeneration and photovoltaic solar systems.

“By marrying the Internet of Things to its energy system, the Bubolz microgrid will be able to optimize when it consumes, produces or stores energy, thereby demonstrating the highest levels of sustainability, reliability and efficiency.”

And Charlie Fredrickson, Faith Technologies’ vice president of investments, said: “Not only will the microgrid be the main power source for Bubolz, but it will also demonstrate what is possible with on-site power generation and energy management.”

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