Black & Veatch microgrid system to power Shell’s Houston technology center

Black & Veatch has been chosen to perform engineering, procurement and construction (EPC)on a new microgrid system at Shell International Exploration & Production Company, Inc.’s Technology Center in Houston, US.

The microgrid will incorporate solar photovoltaic and a natural gas fueled reciprocating engine as well as advanced battery storage technology and other elements to create a sustainable, resilient, and flexible microgrid system. The microgrid is designed to accommodate future additional resources, and includes Black & Veatch’s ASSET360 data analytics platform. The ASSET360 platform will provide actionable insights about the microgrid’s performance and allow Shell operators to optimize operation based on energy demand, solar production and other conditions.

The microgrid will be a platform for collaborative research undertaken by Shell and Black & Veatch to develop and deploy the next generation of clean and resilient energy technologies. The project will be used to test a spectrum of microgrid use cases with the objective of understanding technical solutions to difficult distributed energy use cases and to develop better distributed energy solutions for future application.

Microgrids are integrated systems of multiple power generation sources and electric loads. When operated under a consolidated control with a sustainable energy management system, microgrids can produce and distribute electricity and operate independently from the larger power grid or provide reliable service to remote areas.

“The Shell microgrid will provide an excellent platform for demonstrating and developing resilient and sustainable power generation systems,” said Dustin Rogge, Black & Veatch’s Project Manager. “We are excited about the opportunity to build a great microgrid while collaborating on innovative research that will build the foundation for better distributed energy solutions. This microgrid will feature Black & Veatch’s data analytics and visualization platform, ASSET360. The ASSET360 Microgrid, Issues Management and Performance Monitoring Applications will provide Shell with industry leading performance monitoring, warranty issue support, distributed energy resource management, and research data visualization.”

The Shell Technology Center Houston (STCH) brings together about 2,000 Shell scientists, technologists and engineers to solve current and future energy challenges. The facility’s recently modernized design focuses on energy efficiency and sustainability through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Improvements to the facility have generated significant emissions reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

“The STCH Microgrid will enable us to do hands-on research and develop solutions to complex renewable energy system integration challenges,” said Ajay Mehta, General Manager, Long Range Research & New Energy Technologies, Shell International Exploration and Production Inc.  “These solutions will enable Shell to leverage the value of renewable energy, accelerate its integration into existing Shell operations (and beyond), and further drive the adoption of more and cleaner energy solutions for the future.”

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