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CPS’ microgrid technology demo marks final implementation for Project INTEGRATE

EBR Staff Writer Published 06 January 2017

CPS Energy in collaboration with OMNETRIC Group and Siemens has installed a microgrid solution at a US military post in Houston to pave way for the final deployment in the US Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Project INTEGRATE.

Installed at the Joint Base San Antonio’s Fort Sam Houston military post, the microgrid solution features a 20kw solar PV array, 48kw hour battery, a Siemens microgrid controller and also a weather station.

CPS Energy conducted demonstration tests of the microgrid technology which displayed enhanced control of the new microgrid in live conditions which is expected to help in a more predictable integration of renewable resources.

The Texas utility said that the demonstration will accelerate the renewable integration and microgrid systems developments on a larger scale.

CPS Energy market intelligence manager James Boston III said: “We are eager to utilize technology to modernize the electric grid for the benefit of our customers.  The seamless integration of distribution assets is another step toward our ability to offer the next generation of reliability, resiliency, and product choice to our customers.”

OMNETRIC Group, as part of the microgrid solution, has verified and deployed a new interoperability reference architecture, dubbed Open Field Message Bus (OpenFMB) framework.

Integrated with Siemens Microgrid Management Software (MGMS), the solution enables CPS Energy to get over the inadequate standardization and interoperability between the large array of operating equipment to improve load behavior management on the power grid.

Thereby, it helps the applications distributed by OpenFMB on the microgrid test site to locally streamline renewable energy resources as well as battery storage.

OMNETRIC Group grid operations senior manager Shailendra Grover said: “At OMNETRIC Group, we specialize in bridging the gap between operations and information technology systems. Our work with CPS Energy marks the final stage in our latest effort to demonstrate first-hand the opportunity for utilities to optimize renewable resources and become more diverse.”

The aim of NREL’s Integrated Network Testbed for Energy Grid Research and Technology Experimentation (INTEGRATE) project is to solve the existing constraints that utilities come across when integrating distributed general assets such as renewable energy sources into the grid.