On October 10, ABB, a pioneer and world leader in microgrid technology, announced a new range of microgrid solutions to enhance and promote distributed power generation. These modular and scalable “plug and play” products are designed expressly to address the needs of remote areas that are not tied to the electrical grid but are also appropriate for use in both developed and developing countries.

ABB distributed microgrid systems

The containerized systems can be delivered quickly and efficiently to any location where a microgrid is needed. Each includes a battery for energy storage, power inverter, and ABB’s dedicated Microgrid Plus control system. The entire package can be managed wireless via a cloud based control system.

For communities and industry, the ABB scalable system can provide uninterrupted power during planned or unplanned electrical outages. System sizes from 50 kW to 4,600 kW are avaiable. All can work with solar or wind power, a traditional electrical grid, or locally produced electricity from a diesel generator. The standard integrated functions include grid-connected and off-grid operation with seamless transition. It is a containerized solution designed for easy transportation and fast installation onsite. Operations and maintenance are enabled via a cloud-based remote service system.

“Our modular, standardized and scalable microgrid solution will provide cost efficient access to reliable power for rural and urban applications, as a plug-and-play solution“, said Claudio Facchin, President of ABB’s Power Grids division. “It exemplifies ABB’s continued commitment to innovation and reducing environmental impact by enhancing the integration of renewable energy sources and reducingdependence on fossil-fuels, all key elements of ABB’s Next Level strategy.”

The electrical power industry is changing. Distributed renewables are challenging the status quo that has brought us the traditional centralized power grid. Some utility companies are pushing back hard against the idea of distributed power which, among other things, opens the door to private actors making their own electricity and selling it to others without involving utility companies at all.

That’s the idea behind an experimental cooperative in Brooklyn. It’s only a small system involving just a few people, but it strikes terror into the hearts of utility company executives. If people can make electricity and distribute it themselves, who needs utility companies?

The future of distributed renewables is fraught with danger and conflict, but ABB will be ready with the products needed to make it a reality whenever the need arises.