Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric Combines Energy Management with Renewables

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, has recently added a healthy dose of renewable energy to their portfolio.

The company has announced the signing of a solar power purchase agreement (PPA) that will allow their client, Sun Chemical, to cut electricity costs at its Carlstadt, N.J., production facility by roughly $400,000. This extends the energy savings the company has realized through their partnership with Schneider, which runs into the millions.

This highlights the direction that the company has taken in their recent acquisition of Renewable Choice Energy, a leading provider of renewable power to industrial and commercial clients. By the time of the acquisition, the two companies had already helped clients install over 2 GW of renewable power.

At Sun Chemical’s Carlstadt facility, rooftop and carport photovoltaic (PV) arrays at the site will generate over a million kilowatt-hours annually. That’s more than thirty percent of the facility’s total electricity demand.

The move deeper into renewables by Schneider is a smart one. As knowledge of building performance has grown, practitioners like Schneider are better to prepared to take a holistic view of energy opportunities. Clients will often ask, I want to go green, how do I get the best bang for my buck? Is it efficiency, or should I just go with renewables? While it’s certainly not a black and white issue, one thing is clear. If energy demand can be reduced up front, through efficiency, that will reduce the size and cost of the investment in renewables.

Steve Wilhite, Schneider’s Senior Vice President of Energy and Sustainability Services, puts it this way, “As clean energy reaches price parity with traditional energy, companies are taking aggressive steps to integrate renewables. We are seeing tremendous demand from clients to source a mix of green energy at a competitive rate.” He says that as a team, Schneider and Renewable Choice can effectively address the concerns of “clients looking to diversify their overall energy strategy, while providing critical sustainability and risk mitigation benefits via clean energy solutions.”

The recent solar installation is a case in point. Gary Andrzejewski, Corporate Vice President of Environmental Affairs at Sun Chemical said, “Our decision to build PV arrays at our Carlstadt facility is the latest example of how our own facility managers have been challenging themselves with regard to eco-efficiency.”

Using a data-driven process, the company worked with Schneider to identify the best path to cost reduction. Schneider then oversaw the solar bid process and contract negotiation.

Greening the Web with Efficient Data Centers

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Mostly, we think of the Internet, the cloud and the explosion of mobile technology as things that save us energy: letting our fingers do the walking, avoiding unnecessary trips, being more precise when we do go looking for something, and buying online. And for the most part, that is the case. Those UPS trucks running up and down your street, even though they are bigger than anything you’re driving (I would hope), they are running a specific route that passes near your house anyway. That makes them more efficient than your going to the store is likely to be. But that is not to say all that convenience comes without a cost.

In 2013, US data centers used 91 billion kWh of electricity. That’s enough to power NYC twice over. That number is expected to grow by half again by 2020. It’s become enough of a concern, that electricity providers have warned that they might not be able to keep up with demand, causing some data center operators to seek their own dedicated power sources, including some, like Apple, Microsoft and Google to use solar  or wind power for theirs.

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