Schneider Electric Turns Boston One Campus into Living Laboratory with “Islandable” Microgrid

Situation

  • Schneider Electric, a global leader in microgrids, wanted to fully understand the experience of its customers by using its new microgrid technology and no-money down financial model.
  • Boston One Campus has two buildings, totaling 240,000 square feet. Together, they serve as the workplace for 750 employees in Andover, Massachusetts.
  • One day an outage proved so lengthy that Schneider Electric had to send its employees home.
  • The buildings have a back-up generator, but it was sized to serve only critical equipment, such as its data center, and not the buildings’ entire 1.5 MW peak load.
  • At the time, the company was preparing to unveil to the marketplace its new EcoStruxure™ Microgrid Advisor, a cloud-connected microgrid control system, as well as its Microgrid-as-a-Service (MaaS).

Approach

  • The microgrid was funded through a new “Microgrid as a Service (MaaS)” business model.
  • At the heart of the BOC microgrid is Schneider Electric’s new Electric Energy Control Center, a modular, scalable power control center that brings together the hardware, software, advanced controls and electrical distribution needed to operate DER in a single box.
  • The BOC microgrid also features the company’s newly released EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor
    • uses connected hardware, software and cloud-based analytics to help the campus procure, manage and consume energy more efficiently.
  • Combination of advanced controls and demand side software allows the microgrid to leverage weather forecast data and other operational site data to optimize BOC’s energy performance
    • 448 kW of rooftop/carport PV and a gas generator

Outcomes

  • The Boston One Campus stands out as a real-world demonstration of how the coming microgrid era will enhance electric reliability, boost the use of clean energy, and manage energy economically—all while sparing customers from paying any upfront capital costs.
  • The entire solar array is able to operate during grid outages — maintaining critical operations and offering employees a safe, shelter in place option.
  • The company said its system is expected to generate more than 520,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year.
    • equates to saving the equivalent greenhouse gasemissions from more than 2,400 passenger vehicles in a single year.

Schneider Electric