Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Schneider builds Finland’s largest industrial microgrid for Lidl

Steve Rogerson
November 13, 2018



Schneider Electric is to deliver Finland's largest industrial microgrid and an IoT-enabled building automation system for Lidl's new distribution centre in Järvenpää.
 
The distribution centre will cover a surface of 60,000m2, the largest in Finland and equivalent to ten football fields in size, and will serve southern Finland's grocery stores. It is due to start operations early next year.
 
Schneider's microgrid includes EcoStuxure Microgrid Advisor, a cloud-based offering that leverages analytics to control and optimise energy resources for sustainable and cost-effective facility performance.
 
The distribution centre will reach a level of energy efficiency based on 100% renewable energy. The microgrid will include a 1600-panel solar power plant on the building's roof, enabling solar-generated electricity to be used in the co-generation of heating and cooling. The heat recovered from the distribution centre's refrigeration equipment and systems will be used for the building's energy needs and supplied to Järvenpää's residents, heating water for approximately 500 private homes.
 
The distribution centre's microgrid will work with a battery energy storage system. The storage will play a role in equalising consumption spikes and ensuring continuous power distribution. Should the national power grid become temporarily overburdened, the amount of grid electricity consumed by Lidl's distribution centre can be reduced by putting the battery storage to use.
 
"During periods of very cold weather, Finland's grid can experience peak loads," said Simo Siitonen, energy management manager at Lidl Finland. "The battery energy storage system implemented at Lidl will enable us to react quickly to these consumption spikes, help reduce the load on the grid, and ensure there is sufficient electricity for everyone in Finland."
 
The software-as-a-service platform EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor is designed to simplify the integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) and allow facility managers and microgrid operators to collect, forecast and automatically optimise the operation of onsite resources using real-time data and predictive machine learning algorithms. It will let Lidl energy management teams monitor and manage the microgrid control system, energy use optimisation, power and heat demand response, energy storage, and a solar electricity system as well as a heating and cooling system.
 
For real-time energy optimisation, the system will consider use rate, price, consumption of electricity and weather in Finland.
 
The distribution centre's integrated building management system will be executed with Schneider Electric EcoStruxure building operation software. This open building management platform integrates multiple systems for centralised, real-time control and management across one to many enterprise buildings. This installation includes full remote access as well as analytic services to improve energy efficiency.
 
The Schneider team in Finland created a remote site operation management service for Lidl based on the EcoStruxure Building offering. This management services offer has earned ISO 27001-2013 information security certification, the first of its kind in Finland.
 
"Our goal is to build the Nordic countries' most environmentally-friendly grocery distribution centre," said Siitonen. "Strict energy technical targets have been set for the building's entire lifecycle. The building is carbon neutral and the energy cost savings goal is over 50%. The project has been executed according to the standards corresponding to the prestigious Breeam environmental certification's excellent rating level. When choosing a partner, it was important that we chose a partner that can provide an energy-efficient, integrated, comprehensive solution combining several different building and energy management systems for the duration of the building's entire lifecycle."
 
EcoStruxure Building is part of Schneider's EcoStruxure Architecture. EcoStruxure is an IoT-enabled, plug-and-play, open, interoperable architecture and platform. It delivers value around safety, reliability, efficiency, sustainability and connectivity. EcoStruxure leverages advancements in IoT, mobility, sensing, cloud, analytics and cyber security at every level, from connected products, edge control to apps, analytics and services. EcoStruxure has been deployed in more than 480,000 installations, with the support of more than 20,000 system integrators, connecting over 1.5 million assets.
 
"Lidl Finland's decision to build a carbon-neutral and at times net-positive building shows determination and foresight to find the best possible integration that not only allows them to operate the facility more efficiently than their existing ones, but also sets an example for how to build and operate in a sustainable way for the good of the environment," said Tuomas Qvick, vice president at Schneider Electric. “This is significant both nationally and internationally.”