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LocalGrid and Hatch to Jointly Develop Microgrid Energy Solutions

Helping aging electric utilities upgrade to a smart grid, LocalGrid Technologies has signed a cooperative agreement with Hatch to jointly pursue projects and develop technology for microgrid and distributed generation applications.

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In his presentation at NIWeek earlier this month, Bob Leigh, CEO of LocalGrid Technologies, referred to the “dawn of the microgrid,” taking centralized electricity distribution to a more distributed approach for a new age of smart grids. Now LocalGrid, which provides embedded software for microgrid topologies, has elicited help to bring more complete solutions to the utility and grid market.

LocalGrid signed a cooperative agreement with Hatch, a multidisciplinary professional services firm, to jointly pursue projects and develop technology for microgrid and distributed generation applications.

“We don’t design power systems, and we don’t design the actual control algorithms for power systems. Hatch has a lot of experience across their company for that,” Leigh said at NIWeek. In a statement issued today, he added, “Working with Hatch, we can leverage their expertise in distribution infrastructure, renewable generation and remote microgrid design to further develop our capability to manage energy and infrastructure using a decentralized, microgrid topology.”

Hatch serves the energy, mining and infrastructure sectors, providing technical and strategic services that include consulting, IT, engineering, process development, and project and construction management. “Utilities are seeking the ability to integrate distributed generation, energy storage and electric vehicle charging while increasing the service life of existing grid assets and becoming more resilient to power outages resulting from increasingly volatile weather events,” says Pieter de Koning, manager of energy technology development and commercialization at Hatch. “A microgrid control and operation strategy offers this promise.”

Hatch bridges the gap between research and innovative technologies, and has experience in developing renewable and alternative power solutions for transmission, distribution and remote customers. The agreement with LocalGrid is an opportunity for Hatch to leverage its expertise for microgrid technology.

LocalGrid’s core product, eGridOSTM, runs on utility-grade control hardware and provides advanced data capture, and high-resolution analytics. It’s geared toward electrical utilities looking to extend the reliability of aged infrastructures so they can improve quality of service and service scalability. For example, Toronto Hydro-Electric System, Canada’s largest municipal electricity distribution company, has begun working with LocalGrid to update its grid with decentralized control, deploying controllers at the substation, on feeders, and at transformers, and providing detailed real-time analysis of power assets. Leigh described the project in his keynote presentation earlier this month at NIWeek.

Beyond its core functions, eGridOSTM provides advanced military-grade security to protect utilities from cybersecurity exploits. Hatch has demand response control technology developed for managing large industrial loads in the metals and mining sector connected to weak electrical grids and captive power plants, and proprietary techniques for integrating intermittent renewable generation to electrical grids.

Under this new cooperation agreement, Hatch and LocalGrid will collaborate on microgrid projects to provide lower deployment costs and increased data availability with real-time operations awareness.


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