San Francisco-based Dynamic Energy Networks (DEN) announced strategic alliances with Schneider Electric and the Carlyle Group today for a new platform to own and operate microgrids as well as distributed energy resources. The platform is aimed at providing energy-as-a-service (EaaS) financing and infrastructure to organizations and institutions.
DEN is a developer, owner, and operator of discrete power systems in the commercial and industrial, healthcare, municipal, and military markets. Combined, members of their leadership team have designed more than 60 microgrids that account for over 200 megawatts of capacity, built the first utility microgrid and the first community microgrid in the US, and integrated 20 energy storage systems that range up to utility scale, according to their site.
With microgrid technology solutions from Schneider Electric and alternative asset management from the Carlyle Group, DEN’s team envisions a smart, highly connected microgrid and distributed energy resources infrastructure that has flexible and alternative ownership structures.
“Customers benefit from long-term power contracts that provide cost effective, resilient, and secure supply of clean energy,” the press release says.
To underscore the resilience of microgrids, DEN republished an article by Microgrid Knowledge writer Lisa Cohn about a microgrid at the 16-acre Stone Edge Farm, a winery near Sonoma in California. When wildfires swept through the area suddenly, the project’s general contractor Craig Wooster, his son, and an intern working on the farm put the microgrid in island mode so that irrigation could continue even without power.
“The microgrid, which includes a mix of solar, eight different types of batteries, 10 different kinds of inverters, and a natural gas microturbine, operated even though the power went out and officials called for evacuations,” Cohn wrote. Island mode was made possible by a distributed optimizer from the MIT spinoff Heila Technologies.
“The energy industry has experienced a tremendous growth in awareness and usage of microgrids in just the last year alone,” Andrew Marino, a Carlyle managing director and co-head of Carlyle Global Infrastructure, said in the joint press release with DEN and Schneider Electric. He added that microgrid solutions enable energy-as-a-service.
EaaS is growing popular. Earlier this year, Citigroup’s Steven Avadek told Energy Manager Today that Citi was exploring the option as a way to reduce expenses and gain budget certainty. Navigant Research published a 2017 report predicting that the global market for deploying commercial and industrial energy-as-a-service solutions would reach $221.1 billion by 2026.
Vendors mentioned above:
- Schneider Electric
- Heila Technologies