Shell is to install a solar-gas-storage microgrid at its Technology Centre in Houston, Texas, US.

The system will feature solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, a natural gas-fuelled engine and battery storage as well as a data analytics platform from Black & Veatch, which also won the EPC contract for the project. According to Black & Veatch, the microgrid is designed to accommodate additional resources in future.

The system “will be used to test a spectrum of microgrid use cases with the objective of understanding technical solutions to difficult distributed energy use cases and to develop better distributed energy solutions for future application,” Black & Veatch said in a statement.

Ajay Mehta, General Manager, Long Range Research & New Energy Technologies with Shell International Exploration and Production, said the microgrid “will enable us to do hands-on research and develop solutions to complex renewable energy system integration challenges” and that it “will enable Shell to leverage the value of renewable energy, accelerate its integration into existing Shell operations (and beyond), and further drive the adoption of more and cleaner energy solutions for the future.”

Shell’s Technology Centre Houston (STCH) houses around 2000 scientists, technologists and engineers. The company says its recently modernized design focuses on energy efficiency and sustainability.