A new microgrid has been unveiled this week at the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve in the US state of Wisconsin.

Built by partners Schneider Electric and engineering firm Faith Technologies, the microgrid features a 200 kW solar PV system, a 30 kW hydrogen fuel cell, a 100 kW lithium-ion battery energy storage system, a 65 kW microturbine and a 60 kW Kohler natural gas generator.

Its output will be used to power the 1672-square-metre nature centre at the heart of the preserve.

Faith Technologies handled the EPC for the project while Schneider contributed the power control centre and a cloud-based software-as-a-service platform, which it said can autonomously configure the resources into a range of different permutations to produce the most cost-effective combination of energy resources available at a given time.

The microgrid is monitored remotely and feeds live data on its performance to a display at Faith Technologies’ Innovation Centre in Menasha, Wisconsin.

Schneider Electric said the project will also act as a testing site for microgrid operations, allowing testing and measurement of microgrid technologies’ impact in a real-world environment while supporting the nature preserve’s mission.  

Mike Jansen, Faith Technologies’ CEO, said microgrids “allow business owners to control one of the top expenses they face today: energy costs.

“This microgrid at Bubolz was designed to showcase the wide range of clean energy components that can make up a microgrid. From solar panels to microturbines, we’re able to customize an energy solution that is tailored to each individual business.”

And Don Wingate, Schneider’s vice-president for strategic customers and microgrid solutions, said the microgrid would offer “greater control over energy to achieve [the preserve’s] goals by optimizing when energy is consumed, produced, or stored.”