Microgrid diagram and description
- 1Hydro-Québec’s distribution system supplies electricity to the Québec market. With over 225,000 km of lines, the system delivers power that’s more than 99% clean and renewable to 4.4 million customers.
- 2The breaker is a device that disconnects the microgrid from the main grid. When it is open, the connection is disrupted and the microgrid operates autonomously.
- 3Solar panels capture the sun’s rays and convert them into electrical energy. The sun is a source of intermittent renewable energy.
- 4The energy storage system stores electricity, including the electricity produced by solar panels, in batteries. Combining an intermittent renewable like solar power with a storage system makes it possible to meet energy needs for a certain period when demand exceeds supply.
- 5Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered by electric batteries. Unlike vehicles that run on gas, vehicles that are 100% electric emit zero GHGs.
- 6Charging stations recharge electric vehicle batteries. The Electric Circuit, Quebec’s largest EV public charging network, has both quick-charge (400 V) and standard (240 V) stations.
- 7Smart buildings are designed to optimize resource use and improve energy efficiency without compromising on comfort.
- 8The control system monitors and manages all the components of the microgrid. It provides data on the electricity generated by the solar panels and the battery charge level as well as forecasting future supply and demand. It also oversees the connections between generation, storage and end user, based on mode of operation and certain pre-set rules.
The roof of the sports complex is covered with 1,700 solar panels totalling 620 kW of installed capacity — over 75% of the electricity produced by the microgrid.
These panels supply the microgrid when it operates in islanded mode (i.e., when the connection with the Hydro‑Québec grid is interrupted). Surplus power is stored in batteries at the microgrid substation or fed back into the main grid when in connected mode (i.e., once the connection has been restored).
Solar power generation and energy consumption
Evolution of photovoltaic solar power and energy consumption (loads) on a annual basis
In winter (side sections of the graph), given the reduced number of hours of sunlight and the higher demand due to heating, solar energy will only partially power the microgrid buildings.
In summer (central part of the graph), the solar energy produced will be sufficient to meet the demand from all the buildings served by the microgrid.
Should supply exceed demand, the surplus will be stored in batteries and used during cloudy periods or after sundown. The microgrid’s two-way energy exchange feature means surplus power could also be injected into Hydro-Québec’s main grid.
Microgrid’s autonomy in islanded mode based on the month of the year
The control system manages the microgrid’s every component.
Below, an overview of the components of a microgrid substation.