Lidl builds Finland's largest power microgrid

November 12, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
Discount supermarket Lidl is to build the largest microgrid system in Finland with secure building automation technology from French power giant Schneider Electric

Lidl's new distribution centre in Järvenpää, Finland, will cover an area 60,000 m2, the largest in Finland and equivalent to 10 football fields in size, for Southern Finland's grocery stores. It will start operations at the beginning of 2019.

Schneider Electric's microgrid includes a cloud-based solution that uses powerful analytics to control and optimize energy resources for sustainable and cost-effective facility performance. Using the EcoStuxure Microgrid Advisor the distribution centre will reach a high level of energy efficiency based on 100% renewable energy from a 1600-panel solar power plant on the building's roof, enabling solar-generated electricity to be used in the co-generation of heating and cooling. The heat recovered from the distribution centre's refrigeration equipment and systems will be used for the building's energy needs and supplied to Järvenpää's residents, heating water for approximately 500 private homes.

The distribution center's microgrid will work with a battery energy storage system. The storage will play an important role in equalizing consumption spikes and ensuring continuous power distribution. Should the national power grid become temporarily overburdened, the amount of grid electricity consumed by Lidl's distribution center can be reduced by putting the battery storage to use.

"During periods of very cold weather, Finland's grid can experience peak loads," said Simo Siitonen, Energy Management Manager at Lidl Finland. "The battery energy storage system implemented at Lidl will enable us to react quickly to these consumption spikes, help reduce the load on the grid, and ensure there is sufficient electricity for everyone in Finland."

The software-as-a-service platform EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor is designed to simplify the integration of distributed energy resource (DER) and allow facility managers and microgrid operators to collect, forecast and automatically optimize the operation of onsite resources using real-time data and predictive machine learning algorithms.

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