Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Consortium launches microgrid pilot in North America

Steve Rogerson
September 28, 2016
Opus One, Advanced Microgrid and a consortium of partners have announced a US$12.4m North American multi-utility project to improve integration of distributed energy resources and commercial microgrids into power systems and regional wholesale markets.
Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) will provide $4m in funding to support the project, which will demonstrate smart and integrated transactive energy networks that integrate wind, solar, electric vehicle charging stations, battery storage and feeder-based microgrids into traditional electricity power systems at three utilities in the USA and Canada.
"Today's power grid needs advanced storage to accommodate the variability of renewable generation," said Alain Steven, chief technology advisor of Advanced Microgrid and former CTO of PJM Interconnection. "The combined platform will provide grid operators with grid reliability services while lowering the net costs of storage through participation in wholesale and developing distribution markets."
The project combines Advanced Microgrid's analytics and economic optimisation platform and Opus One's GridOs, a real-time distribution energy networking platform, to build a smart and integrated transactive energy network. Opus One will lead the consortium, which includes Advanced Microgrid, Emera Maine, Smarter Grid and the Centre for Urban Energy at Ryerson University.
"We are thrilled to work with a leading technology provider like Advanced Microgrid to complement the capabilities of our intelligent energy networking software platform, GridOs," said Joshua Wong, CEO and president of Opus One. "Transforming the electricity grid requires leaders willing to adopt innovative technologies and we are grateful that SDTC is supporting this partnership to flourish."
The multi-utility project includes development of a commercial microgrid consisting of solar, battery storage and back-up diesel generation integrated with distribution-level feeder operations and the regional transmission operator; a distributed energy resources (DERs) management demonstration project; and a feeder-based microgrid featuring wind resources, grid-scale energy storage and up to ten residential battery systems.
Advanced Microgrid's platform will perform an economic optimisation of the DERs, while GridOs will ensure the DERs are optimally dispatched within the physical constraints of the grid.
Behind the meter microgrids will provide grid and market operators virtual resources capable of providing integrated demand response and advanced ancillary services. In front of the meter microgrids will provide the grid operator with the ability to perform feeder load relief, volt-VAR optimisation and conservation voltage reduction.
This is the first time Advanced Microgrid has participated in a Canadian project. It has more than 120MW of energy storage projects under contract, including 90MW of grid support in capacity-constrained areas in southern California. Its grid-scale energy storage projects include a fleet of hybrid electric buildings, as well as grid independence projects at regional water districts and California State University campuses.