Schneider Electric Creates The First Industrial Microgrid With ACCIONA Energía In Spain

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Schneider Electric and ACCIONA Energía have created the first microgrid in a Spanish factory in Schneider Electric’s plant in Puente la Reina (Navarra).

Schneider Electric is a leading company in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, and ACCIONA Energía is the biggest 100% renewable utility without a fossil fuel legacy in the world.

The microgrid in the plant at Puente la Reina combines the production of renewable energy on-site, battery storage, and charging points for electric vehicles so that they can achieve maximum autonomy and optimize consumption in the grid. The microgrid offers more efficiency, lower energy costs, and a smaller carbon footprint.

Through this project, Schneider Electric and ACCIONA Energía strengthen their leadership in technology, sustainability, and decarbonization.

The microgrid installed in the facility in Puente la Reina will include 852 kWp of photovoltaic energy, five charging points for electric vehicles, and 80 kWh of battery storage, all controlled by EcoStruxure EMA software developed by Schneider Electric.

The ultimate aim of the project, which can be replicated in any industrial plant, is to continue to progress in the energy transition by combining distributed energy resources (solar, storage, electric cars), sustainability, and digitalization to create a more profitable, resilient, and sustainable energy infrastructure.

Schneider Electric’s plant in Puente la Reina (Navarra) is one of the company’s most innovative facilities in Spain, incorporating the latest digital and automation technologies and a reference in Industry 4.0 and Smart Factory. It employs 350 people and manufactures around 76 million switches and plugs from the Odace, Ovalis, and New Unica ranges, for example.

The microgrid designed by ACCIONA Energía for Schneider Electric in Puente la Reina is based on the “energy as a service” approach. This model facilitates cost-saving, digitalization, and flexibility without the need for the client to make any investment.

ACCIONA Energía owns the installation and undertakes its maintenance and management, so the client does not need to worry about the management and operating costs of the microgrid, and just pays for the service.

Energy models are undergoing a major process of change as generation is decentralized and the demand for electricity grows, driven by the worldwide megatrends for digitalization and decarbonization. As a result, energy as a service (EaaS) is emerging as an innovative way of fulfilling these two objectives.

Microgrids facilitate the integration of key elements for the energy transition such as renewable energy sources, electric vehicles, and battery storage to provide more resilient and reliable supplies. They can function disconnected from the main grid, either isolated or connected, with active management of the energy to optimize costs.

Microgrids are designed to guarantee reliable supplies when demand peaks occur, during periods of grid inactivity, or when intermittent renewable generation needs a backup.

They also use AI algorithms in their software and control panel to optimize the use of energy, combining direct self-consumption with capacity from storage or from the main grid based on an equation that calculates availability, cost, and CO₂ emissions. These algorithms also manage the recharging of electric vehicle batteries to reduce energy costs.

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