A new intelligent electricity supply network or “microgrid” was installed at Siemens HQ in August, opening up a wealth of opportunities to enhance energy management and make better use of resources at the site. Why do this at a city-center site that is already one of our most sustainable office complexes? And what have been the first impressions?
Microgrids (essentially a type of island grid) were originally developed to supply power to locations without access to a larger-scale power supply system. Effectively a power grid in miniature, a microgrid supplies all connected consumers using power from its own generation facilities (photovoltaic systems, combined heat and power plants etc.) and may also feature battery storage for stabilization purposes. The object of a microgrid is to bring consumers and generators together and use power intelligently to maximize the contribution of renewable energy systems. Siemens has already installed microgrids at a number of other sites including Vienna in Austria, Milan in Italy and Princeton in the USA.