The Conext SmartGen is now available with an expanded range of power ratings, providing customers more flexibility to meet power plant capacity limits while optimizing output. 

Livermore, California, November 29, 2017 – Schneider Electric Solar has extended its Conext SmartGen inverter power ratings for greater flexibility and optimization of both small and large utility power plants.  For large scale power plants, the CS2200 is now available and is optimized for 4.4 MW stations using two inverters.  To expand the power ratings for smaller power plants in North America, the introduction of the CS1666 provides an optimum power block for 5 MW power plants.

In many cases, changing the inverter nameplate power ratings after submitting the interconnect applications can result in delays in processing.  The flexibility offered by the range of power ratings also makes it easier to match up with any power plant capacity limits that are tied to the nameplate power rating of the inverters.

The system’s ease of use will also take advantage of Schneider Electric’s Power EcoSystem, including the Conext Viewer user interface, the industry changing Conext PowerCloud, and the Conext Advisor 2 monitoring and control platform. Below is a list of available ratings:

Conext SmartGen Models:

  • CS2200: 2200 kW/2200 kVA for North America and IEC markets
  • CS2000: 2000 kW/2000 kVA for North America and IEC markets
  • CS1800: 1800 kW/2000 kVA for North America and IEC markets
  • CS1666-1-NA: 1666 kW/1666 kVA for North America markets
  • CS1666-2-NA: 1666 kW/1831 kVA for North America markets
  • CS1666-3-NA: 1666 kW/1851 kVA for North America markets 

About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems.

We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software. In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on our Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to Innovation, Diversity and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.

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All over the world, digitalization is revolutionizing energy production and supply – and will drive the continued growth of solar PV and other renewable energy sources. What will the energy supply of tomorrow look like? Jochen Schneider, EVP Energy Services at SMA, has some answers.

Jochen Schneider, Executive Vice President Energy Services at SMA

Jochen Schneider, Executive Vice President Energy Services at SMA

How will digitalization change the way we produce and consume energy?

Digitalization will enable to create a new energy world instead of sole decentralized systems and accelerate the transformation towards decentralized energy production based mainly on renewable energy sources. Traditional energy supply structures will completely be turned on their head. Market structures will change dramatically in a short period of time. The traditional business models, in which centralized units produce and sell energy to customers directly or via intermediaries is being replaced by brand-new platforms in this new era. These platforms connect market actors and offer direct communication and trading between producers, consumers and other stakeholders.

What effect will this have on energy producers and consumers?

More and more households and companies are producing their own energy. Digitalization will make it easier for them to use this energy efficiently and to substantially save on energy costs. In this context, we will see completely new innovative business models emerge over the next few years. These will include fully automated energy management across all sectors—photovoltaics and other power sources as well as heating, cooling, ventilation and stationary and mobile storage systems—and segments—residential, commercial and utility—at the local level as well as peer-to-peer models for prosumers to directly sell excess solar energy.

How will they be able to profit from this new energy system?

In order to participate in and profit from this new energy system, households and commercial enterprises will need strong partners that are able to master the complexity of this new energy supply system. This is why SMA, with its longstanding experience and technological knowledge, is developing digital solutions that make it possible to optimize total energy costs at the local level and integrate our customers into the energy market in an easy and comfortable way. We are able to do this because of our comprehensive knowledge spanning all energy sectors, our vast experience in renewables system technology and grid management, and our in-depth understanding of prosumer’s needs, including security of supply, ease-of-use and economic feasibility.

Thank you, Jochen, for the interview.

Jochen will discuss business strategies of technology leaders in the digitalized energy world on December 4 in Munich during the opening dinner debate of SolarPower Europe and the International Battery & Energy Storage Alliance’s event Digital Solar & Storage.

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Greater manufacturing capacity and efficiencies hold the key to India’s growth and success in becoming the global leader. And recent initiatives by Government testify the country’s intent on claiming the mantle of the fastest growing manufacturing hub in the world. However, prioritizing the fastest growing manufacturing sector within the country (which is solar sector) and focusing on its growth (through domestic manufacturing) can help India reach great heights.

Present Status of Manufacturing Sector in India

Indian manufacturing sector has shown incredible growth in recent years. In the last 4-5 years India has executed nearly half of the 37 reforms, that were adopted in 2003. From facilitating the delays in getting construction permits, simplifying finance acquisition, registration of property, paying taxes, protecting minority investors, developing skill through training, resolving insolvency, and enforcing contracts; Government of India has acted aggressively on these issues, making the country a lucrative platform for manufacturing.

Recent Government initiatives have enhanced India’s manufacturing sector 7.32% at a CAGR of between FY12 and FY17. And in FY 16-17 the sector showcased an incredible growth rate of 7.7% over the previous financial year. The manufacturing goods highlighted 2.4% growth in wholesale price index between April 2016 and January 2017. Besides refinery products, steel, fertilizer, and cement, electricity generation also grew in India, and in FY 17-18, India is estimated to generate surplus of power for the first time in at least 13 years. Thermal energy capacity showed 60 GW growth and renewable energy capacity added 23 GW.

Foreign Investment Can Speed Up Growth

Government support and initiatives have also made way for foreign investments to reach the country. A total of 67% increase in FDI inflow into India has been witnessed in the last 3 years and near about $9.64 billion FDI inflow in August 2017 alone. This has great implications of making India more suitable to establish and enhance businesses has huge implications on the socio-economic growth of the country. It will create more jobs, improve industrial structure, improve R&D structure, and ultimately support domestic manufacturing, allowing India to reduce forex outflow and making the country a leader in the global trading arcade.

Although, Government initiatives and foreign investment present opportunities for India to scale great heights through manufacturing, there are challenges like-

  • Lack of policy framework and delays in policy implementation
  • Lack of demand creation
  • Lack of investment in R&D
  • Reducing rate of subsidies

Focusing on solving these problems and improving creating an environment for better technology usage and innovation can help India in becoming the manufacturing hub it aspires to become.

Emerging Trends

Recently released The World Bank’s survey report on ‘Doing business 2018’ has positioned India in the 100th position among top countries that have favourable environment for business. The current position is 32 places up from India’s last recorded position. It clearly endorses the economic reformation within the country and eagerness to become a knowledge based, technology driven economy.

Make in India program, launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi has made quite an impact in improving the manufacturing scenario within India. Most notably, the solar sector has flourished and has become the perfect example of Indian manufacturing growth. Policy initiatives, supply side reforms, green corridors program, mandate enforcements, and solar parks policy favoured towards Indian solar energy sector saw huge growth in manufacturing (8400 MW) and installed solar (14 GW) capacities in India.

And the current overall manufacturing growth rate of India is estimated to make India the fifth largest manufacturing country in the world by the end of 2020.

More Focus Will Yield Faster and Better Results

Government initiatives like- protecting MSMEs, opening up the economy to foreign budget (received US$ 70.51 billion FDI by June 2017), establishing Centres of Excellence (CoE) and R&D facilities for innovation, strategic partnerships with foreign companies to reduce learning curve, and offering subsidies to encourage growth have boosted the manufacturing sector in India. And as global consumption level is growing with population, this is the right moment for the country to focus more on manufacturing and claim the global export market, just like China, US have.

Dominant solar countries like- China and the US have aggressively expanded their domestic manufacturing capacity, which has helped them to control (lower) the price of manufactured products while improving quality. This simple equation has led China and the US to claim large portions of the global market through exports, and made them leaders in the global market. Manufacturing success of these countries is powered by a synchronized growth in skill development, financial investment and infrastructure quality improvement (R&D). This simple yet effective equation has helped them to control the global market and increase profits through exports.

Road Ahead

Boost in manufacturing sector in India can help the country reach that position, but the focus has to be continuous and unwavering. Especially towards the most lucrative and in-demand sectors such as- solar energy sector. Domestic manufacturing of Indian solar sector is able to offer energy security, position in the export market, and stands to save India huge amounts of money ($42 bn by 2030 from solar imports), kicking back the profits towards socio-economic growth. So, priorities have to be set and more focus on ‘top of the list’ sectors is needed to help India rank with the top three growth economies and manufacturing destination of the world by the year 2020.

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Kigbe is a suburb located in the Kwali local government in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. It is situated 27km from the existing grid infrastructure. Prior to this project being commissioned, the residents of Kigbe did not have access to electricity and depended on candles, kerosene lanterns, and very few generators for their lighting.

This caused poor living standards for the inhabitants and made it virtually impossible to sustain businesses in the community.

Schneider Electric and Havenhill Synergy collaborated to build a mini-grid in Kigbe providing continuous access to electricity, using a cutting-edge model of community level electrification with decentralized power generation.

Read our full case study to learn more about this project, and why the Conext XW+ hybrid inverter was chosen for this project.

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