Berlin. 21 June 2020. Rolls-Royce has expanded the business formerly run as Qinous GmbH into a Microgrid Competence Center. In January, it had announced that it had acquired a 73.1% majority stake in the Berlin-based electricity storage specialist. The renaming of Qinous as Rolls-Royce Solutions Berlin GmbH and expansion into a Microgrid Competence Center is further evidence of the growing importance of distributed energy systems to the future of Rolls-Royce.
“With its solutions, our Microgrid Competence Center in Berlin is making a major contribution to decarbonizing energy systems and, with immediate effect, is now offering our customers a comprehensive solution portfolio. It ranges from simple storage solutions to complex microgrids that intelligently combine battery storage with renewable energies, and with diesel or gas gensets,” explained Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems Division. “We are convinced that microgrids are among the optimum solutions for tomorrow’s environmentally friendly, high-efficiency power supply systems. With Qinous, we are expanding our microgrid expertise and combining the dynamics of a start-up with the security and reliability of a large corporate group.” The start-up has already proven the functionality and reliability of microgrid solutions in over 50 projects across the world.
The new competence center’s portfolio includes energy supply systems that are connected to the public power grid, or are fully independent of it. “Microgrids complete our product and solution line-up for distributed power generation. From battery storage and intelligent electronic control systems to diesel or gas gensets – we’re not merely a supplier of modules from the MTU product range, but rather we’re offering our customers tailor-made total solutions featuring things like solar and wind power generation,” confirmed Andreas Görtz, Vice President of the Power Generation business unit.
“Because Rolls-Royce itself develops and produces key components such as the battery storage facilities, the microgrid control system and the generator sets, we possess in-depth knowledge of their features and characteristics, thereby giving the customer a turnkey total solution that is integrated perfectly from both a technical and economic perspective,” said Cordelia Thielitz, who heads up the Microgrid Solutions business unit at Rolls-Royce.
“We’re seeing global demand for microgrids in a wide range of application areas,” added Cordelia Thielitz.
In countries such as Germany and the US, microgrid solutions are particularly attractive for industrial applications, among others, as a result of their CO2 reduction and secure energy supply credentials. Microgrids are offering grid and power plant operators new sources of income and opportunities to save money. Used as self-sufficient, distributed power grids, these power systems enable remote mines or villages, without public grid access, to cover their electricity needs in a way that is both economical and more sustainable.
“Under the Rolls-Royce umbrella, we’re seeing new, previously unattainable opportunities opening up, helping us realize our vision of delivering sustainable, climate-friendly and environmentally friendly power supply solutions. We’re proud of having turned this start-up into a competence center for a global company, and are looking forward to using our knowledge and experience in battery storage to help fully-featured microgrids become a success,” said Qinous founder Steffen Heinrich, who remains Managing Director and shareholder of Rolls-Royce Solutions Berlin.
Rolls-Royce is growing its portfolio of battery storage systems which will be produced at its Bavarian facility in the town of Ruhstorf. The storage solutions are rated from 40 kVA to 2,000 kVA, and have capacities ranging between 50 kWh and 2,600 kWh. The MTU-branded products are being offered as 20-foot and 40-foot containers, and are also available as compact versions. They are scalable, allowing them to be adapted flexibly to meet customers’ performance and capacity requirements. Battery storage is a core component of microgrids, and is also used as integral equipment in solar parks for ensuring grid stabilization, or as charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.