Shell to Install Microgrid at its Houston Technology Center

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Black & Veatch has been awarded a contract to build a microgrid for Shell International Exploration & Production Company in Houston.

The microgrid will use solar photovoltaics and a natural gas reciprocating engine, along with an advanced battery storage system.

The microgrid will be located at the Shell Technology Center Houston (STCH), which brings together about 2,000 Shell scientists, technologists and engineers to solve current and future energy challenges. The facility’s recently modernized design focuses on energy efficiency and sustainability through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

“The STCH Microgrid will enable us to do hands-on research and develop solutions to complex renewable energy system integration challenges,” said Ajay Mehta, general manager, Long Range Research & New Energy Technologies, Shell International Exploration and Production. “These solutions will enable Shell to leverage the value of renewable energy, accelerate its integration into existing Shell operations (and beyond), and further drive the adoption of more and cleaner energy solutions for the future.”

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Shell and Black & Veatch intend to use the microgrid as a platform for collaborative research to test a spectrum of microgrid use cases. The partners hope to gain a better understanding of technical solutions to difficult distributed energy use cases. They also hope to better understand future applications for distributed energy.

The microgrid is designed to accommodate additional resources in the future, including Black & Veatch’s data analytics platform. The platform will provide actionable insights about the microgrid’s performance and allow Shell operators to optimize operation based on energy demand, solar production and other conditions. Black & Veatch will handle engineering, procurement and construction of the microgrid for Shell.

Read more about microgrids that use reciprocating engines by downloading the free Microgrid Knowledge guide, Reciprocating Engine Generators and Microgrids: The Last Defense Against a Power Outage

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.