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Siemens closes acquisition of Massachusetts-based electric infrastructure manufacturer Russelectric

Siemens announced today it has closed the acquisition of Massachusetts-based Russelectric®, a leading U.S. manufacturer of power control systems including paralleling switchgear and automatic transfer switches. The transaction, first announced in early October 2018, brings together the companies’ complementary electrical power portfolios and service organizations. These combined efforts will help better address growing power reliability, security and affordability needs across critical markets like data centers, public infrastructure, and healthcare.

Russelectric’s 400 employees across its manufacturing hubs in Hingham, MA and Broken Arrow, OK will expand Siemens’ existing U.S. footprint of over 50 manufacturing, R&D and digital hubs and its 50,000 U.S. employee base.

“We’re thrilled to officially welcome Russelectric to the Siemens family with the closing of this acquisition”, said Barry Powell, Vice President and Business Unit Head, Siemens Low Voltage & Products, North America. “Our teams are ready to work together across the low voltage power market to provide technologies that ensure critical installations receive uninterrupted, secure power.”

“Today marks the turning of a page in the history of Russelectric, starting of a new chapter of growth in our current markets as well as outside of them,” said Dorian Alexandrescu, President and CEO of Russelectric Inc. “The synergies with Siemens are significant, and we are all looking forward to seeing them come to life as part of the new organization”.

Russelectric will now operate as “Russelectric, A Siemens Business”.  Terms of this transaction are not disclosed.

Download press release.

Contact for journalists
Annie Satow
Phone: +1 (202) 316-0219; E-mail: annie.seiple@siemens.com
Follow us on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/siemensUSA

About Siemens
Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. With approximately 372,000 employees in 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $92.0 billion in fiscal 2017. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $23.3 billion, including $5.0 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

About Russelectric
Founded in 1955, Russelectric® provides high-integrity power control solutions for mission critical applications in the healthcare, information technology, telecommunication, water treatment, and renewable energy markets. The company maintains vertically-integrated manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts and Oklahoma, where it designs and builds a full line of automatic transfer switches, switchgear, and controls. Russelectric products carry the longest and most comprehensive warranty in the industry and are backed by a team of expert factory-direct field service engineers. To learn more about Russelectric products and the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction, visit http://www.russelectric.com/.

Siemens to acquire Massachusetts-based electric infrastructure manufacturer Russelectric

Strategic acquisition complements Siemens’ portfolio, helps address critical power business needs across industries like data centers and healthcare

will bring together the companies’ complementary advanced electrical power portfolios and service organizations to help critical markets such as data centers, public infrastructure, and healthcare address the growing need to improve power reliability, security and affordability.

This strategic investment also strengthens Siemens’ commitment to the U.S., the company’s largest market in the world. Russelectric’s approximately 400 employees across its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Hingham, MA and manufacturing and training hub in Broken Arrow, OK will be added to Siemens’ existing U.S. footprint of over 50 manufacturing, R&D and digital hubs and its 50,000 U.S. employee base.

“As the energy landscape continues to shift, the successful operation of critical facilities more than ever requires reliable, affordable and sustainable power”, said Barry Powell, Vice President and Business Unit Head, Siemens Low Voltage & Products, North America. “With this acquisition, we bring together Siemens’ expertise and experience in the low voltage power market with Russelectric’s complementary high-quality energy infrastructure portfolio to provide technologies that ensure these critical installations receive uninterrupted, secure power.”

“Russelectric has built a solid reputation over the years based on highly engineered solutions of top-quality products and an always-take-care-of-the-customer mindset. Those were the guiding values instilled by our founder, Raymond G. Russell, and these are the same values that we saw in Siemens,” said Dorian Alexandrescu, Russelectric President and CEO. “This acquisition will complement our portfolio in the mission critical, high-quality U.S. energy infrastructure industry, help us leverage Siemens’ global footprint, and ultimately support our customers with a much stronger product and services portfolio.”

“This investment signifies our global commitment to the U.S. power infrastructure market and the technologies that place a premium on safe, reliable and affordable access to electrical energy,” said Andreas Matthé, Global CEO of Siemens Low Voltage & Products. “These two organizations bring complementary portfolios to critical power infrastructures that continue to evolve at a rapid pace, and together, the companies can create additional value for customers through an experienced workforce, extensive domain knowledge and complementary sales approach.”

Upon closing of the acquisition, subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, Siemens will wholly-own Russelectric, which will operate as “Russelectric, A Siemens Business”. Closing is anticipated late 2018 to early 2019. Terms of this transaction are not disclosed.  Download press release.

Contact for journalists
Annie Satow
Phone: +1 (202) 316-0219; E-mail: annie.seiple@siemens.com
Follow us on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/siemensUSA

About Siemens
Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. With approximately 372,000 employees in 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $92.0 billion in fiscal 2017. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $23.3 billion, including $5.0 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

About Russelectric
Founded in 1955, Russelectric® provides high-integrity power control solutions for mission critical applications in the healthcare, information technology, telecommunication, water treatment, and renewable energy markets. The company maintains vertically-integrated manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts and Oklahoma, where it designs and builds a full line of automatic transfer switches, switchgear, and controls. Russelectric products carry the longest and most comprehensive warranty in the industry and are backed by a team of expert factory-direct field service engineers. To learn more about Russelectric products and the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction, visit http://www.russelectric.com/.

Rex Hospital adopts customized SCADA system to manage emergency power system

Rex Hospital in Raleigh, N.C., is the flagship hospital of UNC Rex Healthcare. The growing facility’s 2,000 physicians and nurses treat tens of thousands of inpatients each year. That number is expected to grow as the hospital has proposed adding a seven-story heart center and possibly a cancer center.

In the midst of this growth, Mike Raynor, retired facilities services director, knew that the hospital would have to invest in its emergency power system to keep up with patient demand. The hospital previously operated an open-transition power system that relied on generators and fuel tanks on flatbed trucks to provide additional capacity during construction or when adequate power could not be delivered to the hospital. Raynor presented a proposal to hospital leadership to invest in a fail-safe, closed-transition system that would allow for transfer between utility and generator sources without a power interruption to the hospital.

The design meant replacing the utility substation and making it more reliable, as well as relocating the switches and switchgear from cramped quarters in the main hospital building to a newly constructed central energy plant. The entire project and system switchover was completed with only a single, planned 10-second outage. The new comprehensive power system provides the hospital with more reliability, more redundancy and more flexibility.

In addition to the new equipment, Raynor knew that investing in specialized software to optimize the system’s management was worth the up-front cost. The hospital worked closely with Russelectric Inc. to design a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software system.

Russelectric, based in Hingham, Mass., develops systems that can provide sophisticated control functions, including emergency/standby power, peak shaving, load curtailment, utility paralleling, cogeneration and prime power.

The software provides interactive monitoring, real-time and historical trending, distributed networking, alarm management, and comprehensive reports around the clock for every detail of the entire power system, not only the backup components.

According to Raynor, Russelectric was the only supplier that could meet his team’s specifications. “A project like this requires a high level of support service and time to get a reliable, yet flexible system. None of the other competitors was willing to step up.”

With this system, technicians can fully monitor and control the entire power system from the control room at the central agency plant. An operator uses full-color, point-and-click computer-screen displays at the system console to access and change the system’s programmable logic controller (PLC) setpoints, display any of the analog or digital readouts on switchgear front panels, run a system test or view the alarm history. A dynamic one-line diagram display uses color to indicate the status of the system, including the positions of all power switching devices. Operating parameters are displayed and updated in real time; and flashing lights on the switchgear annunciator panel flash on the SCADA screen. The system also includes event logging, alarm locking and help screens.

The system allows the scheduling of tests and automatically generates regular reports required by The Joint Commission. In the event of an internal failure, the SCADA system can rapidly and automatically configure a path to bypass the failure and re-energize the system without starting the generators.

The SCADA system’s full manual backup was another key advantage. If the touch screen fails, operating personnel can manually open and close breakers, synchronize and parallel the generators onto the bus, and add or shed load. Full manual operation was a vital feature in Rex Hospital choosing this system.

The SCADA system includes a simulator that shows trainees what to expect when they lose a feed, open or close a breaker, or add or remove load. The simulator uses the same control logic software as the switchgear’s PLCs. The crew also uses the simulator during startup and for trouble-shooting, system improvements, preview testing and tours.

“The hospital needed a modern system that built on what we had already,” Raynor says. “Working closely with Russelectric, we came up with a very sophisticated system, and we’re at a point now where the system is functioning as we expected — all the hospital’s electrical needs are covered.”

View the original article here, https://www.hfmmagazine.com/articles/3399-software-optimizes-hospital-generator

Tim Kelley, director of renewable and storage solutions at Russelectric, highlights the benefits of turning a solar energy system into a microgrid.

An estimated 9 – 10 GW, representing 100,000 commercial solar energy systems, were installed in the US between 2010 and 2017. This is derived from Solar Energy Industries Association data, and the average size of a commercial solar system in California.

These systems present multiple benefits to the businesses they serve, but one is not being exploited to its full potential.

The three benefits of solar energy systems

Installing a solar system can provide three benefits; the first is a reduction in the cost of energy by generating electricity at a lower cost than the utility.

The second is sustainability, as there are no emissions or greenhouse gases associated with producing electricity from the sun.

The third benefit, which in most cases has yet to be realized, is the provision of backup power. After recent hurricanes, such as Sandy, the owners of many facilities were surprised to realize that their solar systems did not provide power during grid outages. Virtually all existing commercial solar energy systems are designed to perform this way.

An inverter normally shuts down solar systems if the grid goes down and only allows them to turn back on when grid power has returned and is stable. This is a safety precaution; the utility cannot risk power being fed into the grid while workers repair it.

Leveraging solar energy systems for business continuity

It is possible to convert an existing solar system into a microgrid, allowing it to disconnect from the main grid and power a commercial facility’s load during an outage.

To achieve this, battery storage or traditional emergency generation, such as a diesel generator, is required to offset the intermittency of solar power. Also required is a distributed energy or microgrid control system to coordinate and optimize the facility’s demands and generation.

For facilities with existing backup generation and solar energy systems, it is relatively easy to upgrade system controls and integrate the existing solar system into a microgrid.

With the declining prices of battery storage, and control systems like the ones Russelectric have been making for the past 50 years, it is possible to achieve the third benefit of solar energy systems.

There are four factors to consider when converting a solar energy system to a microgrid.

Ownership

First, it is common for a third party to finance and own an existing solar system, and sell the electricity generated back to the facility owner at a price lower than its utility rate.

In these situations, the respective owners will have to modify their existing agreement to reflect the changes to the original system. In cases where the facility owner also owns the solar system, having a single stakeholder simplifies the decision-making.

Interconnection and metering agreements

Second, the system owner or system integrator should check the existing utility interconnection and net metering agreements, and ensure that changes to the solar energy system will be permitted.

Return on investment

The third factor is calculating the payback, or return on investment. Adding business continuity functionality to a facility is like buying insurance, the value of which varies by company. Industrial manufacturers, data centers, and office parks will all have differing requirements.

For example, if a dairy processing facility pasteurizing raw milk loses power for longer than 30 – 60 seconds, it may have to discard the milk being processed and perform a full shutdown and sterilization of its production line. A data center typically cannot allow any downtime, whereas a commercial office park might place less value on business continuity.

The unique magnitude of the value can be self-diagnosed. Key questions to ask are: How long does my business need to continue operating if the grid is lost and what is the value of that continued uptime? Is it 15 minutes to carry out a controlled shut down, or is it multiple hours or days to continue production? This consideration impacts the size, complexity, and cost of the microgrid.

Most solar energy systems were originally justified because they allow the user to avoid higher cost utility supplied power. Part of working out the payback of converting a solar energy system to a microgrid involves revisiting these original financial assumptions.

Solar energy is generated during the day, when the cost of electricity is historically the highest. But in some states, like California, the huge amount of installed solar generation is reversing the trend. The utilities are starting to adjust rates to shift the peak period to the evening, when solar does not generate.

This is another good reason to consider adding energy storage. In addition, to providing power during an outage, it can be charged up during the day and released in the evening, when the sun is not shining, but electricity prices are high.

Reducing the use of thermal backup generation

Assuming the facility has thermal backup generation, a fourth potential benefit is the reduction of its use. This means less spent on fuel, fewer emissions, and avoidance of potential penalties for exceeding emissions limits.

Additionally, despite fuel supply contracts guaranteeing fuel replenishment for emergency generators, in a severe natural disaster this may not be possible. A solar system depends only on sunshine, providing additional security of power supply in an emergency.

Turning your existing solar energy system to a microgrid can unlock cost and resilience benefits. This is low hanging fruit for commercial or industrial facilities that already have solar energy systems and other onsite power generation, with some distributed energy control systems in place.

Tim Kelley is the director of renewable and storage solutions at RussElectric.

 

View the original article here, https://microgridknowledge.com/russelectric-commercial-solar-microgrid/