The Power of 10: Modular ten MW units that scale to 100 MW+ for locally generated and conditioned power

Power users with requirements in the ten to 100 megawatts (MW) range (and beyond) are seeking grid independence options. Across companies, communities, mining locations, military campuses and public bodies local power generation delivered via 100 MW+ microgrid developments are being modelled, planned, and built.

Today, it is hard to avoid news about supply constraints on macro grids on which large, energy intensive industries rely. In times of such concerns those who use the most energy also need the highest level of power security – even as they seek a path to net zero.

Any industry using a power system that relies primarily on 500 MW – five GW power stations, coupled to a legacy grid pushing electricity over long distances, with its related large losses, knows that it must seek alternatives. They require independence through locally deployed, modular, reliable power generation at scale.

This includes data centres, manufacturers, process, transport, and energy itself.

Constraints may not be new, but they are becoming more common. What is new is the availability of out of the box solutions in the form of sustainable power provision in ten MW modules that scale to 100 MW+.

The Power of 10 is a modular power building block solution for large power-hungry applications in manufacturing, process and mining and digital infrastructure (among others). It is delivered in ten MW units of scalable primary power generation with integrated ten MW alternators and conditioning technology.

Bergen Engines AS (formerly Rolls-Royce Bergen Engines AS) of Norway; Marelli Motori SRL, Italy and Piller Group GmbH Germany have combined to deliver The Power of 10.

All highly respected names in the power sector, together they form the Power Solutions Division of the British engineering group, Langley Holdings plc. Each ten MW system comprises a Bergen hydrogen-ready ten MW generating set. The Bergen generator has been successfully paired with a Marelli Motori alternator and combined with the Piller ten MW choke, with four 2.5 MW Piller power conditioning modules featuring Integrated Power Conditioning and Switching (IPCS) technology.

Invest and grow as needed

Such a system can be rolled out in ten MW modules on ‘grow as needed’ basis.

As modules are deployed, the second and subsequent modules can act as the N+1 redundancy layer – removing need for standby back up diesel generators and large battery farms.

For many applications this has the potential to be revolutionary. The Power of 10 is a proven ‘cookie cutter’ solution offering true primary baseload and backup power that is totally independent from the grid.

It is the ideal solution for large users seeking how to secure continuity of operations at a time when existing grids are becoming less reliable.

One sector very much aware of its need to change its grid relationships dependence is data centres. In 2012, Microsoft’s data centre division, then known as Global Foundation Services, issued a blog titled “Thinking Off the Grid: Independence for Today’s Data Centers via Data Plants?”

It began with a question. “Why do data centers need to be connected to a dirty, expensive, unreliable electrical grid?” Answer. “They don’t and they don’t want to be either.”

That was over ten years ago.

Today the desire for grid independent operation is combining with the opportunity to embrace demand response opportunities whereby the end user facility also become a power provider. This means fundamentally changing the user’s position in the power value chain by opening up new revenue and partnership opportunities.

A new approach

The issue is that up until now the different elements – generators, alternators and power conditioning, stabilisation and switching – capable of running at the necessary scale, have not been brought together.

The Power of 10 changes this. It addresses the technical challenges that include the need for power conditioning, voltage stabilization and frequency.

Mapping out the road to 2030 and beyond it is clear that volatility in utility power provision will become the new normal.

Power plants connected via islanded or integrated microgrids are the solution for industries and sectors in need of 10MW-100MW of power but who must face the prospect of more constraints from traditional macro grids.

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