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SGS smart grid R&D investment tops $25m
- June 2, 2020
- Steve Rogerson
The value of research and development (R&D) projects underpinned by Smarter Grid Solutions’ (SGS’s) technology has broken the $25m mark as the New York-based energy software company continues to help grid operators tackle the climate emergency and move towards net zero emissions targets.
SGS is involved in R&D programmes that include managing the grid to accommodate more renewable power and energy storage, connecting more electric vehicle charging points to the network, and setting up smart micro-grids that can manage resilient supply and demand across cities, rural areas or even individual industrial sites.
The company has also enabled more than $300m of investment in clean energy assets and has connected over 425MW of distributed energy resources (DERs) to the grid. It has saved over $150m in capital expenditure in grid assets as one of the primary grid value streams.
SGS is working with Con Edison on the deployment and market integration of large utility scale batteries in New York, and with Tucson Electric Power to explore how DERs can provide flexibility services. It is also working with Avangrid on technology to reduce the cost of interconnecting solar farms, and with New York State Energy Research & Development Authority on two projects under its Future Grid Challenge on smart inverter technology.
The next steps in SGS’s R&D work will include projects to integrate electric heating and alternative fuels such as green hydrogen into the grid.
“Reaching net zero to tackle the climate emergency isn’t simply about replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy,” said Bob Currie, chief technology officer of SGS. “It’s also about becoming smarter in how we use that energy and control our electricity grids. Progress is already being made in connecting renewables to the distribution system, but the real victories will come when our heat and transport networks are also electrified to remove or minimise carbon dioxide emissions.”
He said to achieve this, clever software was needed that could manage the complex balance between supply and demand, and that’s where SGS’s R&D work came into play.”
“Helping grid operators and governments to hit their net zero targets involves connecting not just renewable energy devices to networks, but also energy storage batteries, EV charging points and flexible technology to help users increase or decrease their use of power when they receive signals from the wider market,” he said. “These innovations will help our societies to tackle climate change by lowering and eventually minimising or eliminating our carbon dioxide emissions and will also allow businesses and homes to reduce their energy bills and even perhaps be paid to feed power back into the grid during periods of peak demand.
“Decarbonising power grids has been at the heart of SGS’s business since inception. Over the past decade, we’ve seen an amazing shift in the energy landscape, with consumers and politicians alike now pushing towards net zero. The R&D we carry out in partnership with grid operators and fellow technology companies lies at the heart of achieving these goals.”