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Lidl Finland Microgrid Enables Carbon-Neutral Distribution

Schneider Electric has partnered with grocery store chain, Lidl, to deliver Finland’s largest industrial microgrid and an advanced IoT-enabled building automation system for Lidl’s new distribution center in Järvenpää, Finland.  

The unique distribution center that will cover a surface of 60,000 m2, the largest in Finland and equivalent to 10 football fields in size, will serve Southern Finland’s grocery stores and fully start operations at the beginning of 2019.

Smart microgrid: 100% renewable energy sources for a carbon-neutral environment

With Schneider Electric’s microgrid offer, Lidl's distribution center will reach a high level of energy efficiency based on 100% renewable energy. The microgrid will include a 1600-panel solar power plant on the building’s roof, enabling solar-generated electricity to be utilized in the co-generation of heating and cooling. The heat recovered from the distribution center’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 microgrid will also work with a battery energy storage system. 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,” explained 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 resources (DERs) 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. It will allow Lidl Energy Management Teams to monitor and manage:

  • the microgrid control system,
  • energy use optimization,
  • power and heat demand response,
  • energy storage,
  • and a solar electricity system as well as a heating and cooling system.

For real-time energy optimization, the system will consider utilization rate, price, consumption of electricity, and weather in Finland.

Smart building automation system: energy savings target of over 50%

The Lidl distribution center’s integrated building management system will be executed with Schneider Electric EcoStruxure Building Operation software. This open building management platform integrates multiple systems for centralized, real-time control and management across one to many enterprise buildings. This installation includes full remote access as well as analytic services to further improve energy efficiency. The Schneider Electric team in Finland created a unique, remote site operation management service for Lidl based upon the EcoStruxure Building offers. This unique management services offer has earned international ISO 27001-2013 information security certification, as the first of its kind in Finland.  

“Our goal is to build the Nordic countries’ most sustainable grocery distribution center,” added Simo Siitonen.

“Strict energy technical targets have been set for the building’s entire lifecycle. The building is carbon-neutral and the energy cost savings goal is over 50%. The project has been executed according to the standards corresponding to the prestigious BREEAM environmental certification’s Excellent rating level. When choosing a partner, it was important that we chose a partner that can provide an energy-efficient, integrated, comprehensive solution combining several different building and energy management systems for the duration of the building’s entire lifecycle.”

“Lidl Finland’s decision to build a carbon-neutral and at times net-positive building shows determination and foresight to find the best possible integrated solution that not only allows them to operate the facility more efficiently than their existing ones, but also sets an example for how to build and operate in a sustainable way for the good of the environment. This is significant both nationally and internationally”, says Tuomas Qvick, Vice President of EcoBuilding & Field Services Finland at Schneider Electric.

EcoStruxure Building is part of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Architecture.  EcoStruxure is our IoT-enabled, plug and play, open, interoperable architecture and platform. EcoStruxure™ delivers enhanced value around safety, reliability, efficiency, sustainability, and connectivity. EcoStruxure™ leverages advancements in IoT, mobility, sensing, cloud, analytics and cybersecurity to deliver Innovation at every level, from Connected Products, Edge Control to Apps, Analytics & Services. EcoStruxure™ has been deployed in 480,000+ installations, with the support of 20,000+ system integrators, connecting over 1.5 million assets.

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