Nov 12, 2021

Rolls-Royce and SDCL launch Energy as a Service

Energy
Technology
EaaS
Renewables
Dominic Ellis
4 min
Rolls-Royce will work with SDCL and other partners to design, finance, build, commission and operate new projects

Rolls-Royce has agreed to a cooperation with the global investment firm Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL) to jointly offer Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) solutions that can help accelerate the take-up of more sustainable power. 

The agreement, signed at COP26, allows Rolls-Royce to provide customers with electricity and/or heat, generated by a sustainable and efficient energy system, as a subscription service, removing the need for customers to secure up-front infrastructure finance or operate the system themselves.

One of the themes of COP26 has been how to improve access to finance for solutions to assist in the energy transition and combat climate change. The provision of ‘Energy-as-a-Service’ where a customer pays for heat and power through a subscription model, represents a very attractive way to improve access to sustainable power.

Rolls-Royce will work with SDCL and other partners to design, finance, build, commission and operate new projects.

SDCL has more than a decade of experience of developing and financing clean and decentralised energy infrastructure projects in the UK, continental Europe, North America and Asia. Rolls-Royce, through its Power Systems business unit, has a portfolio of microgrid systems that bring together renewable energy sources such as solar and windpower with mtu-branded battery storage and gensets (an engine and electrical generator) to ensure reliable power generation.

It is currently developing fuel cell systems and making its existing mtu engines compatible with sustainable fuels, paving the way for net zero microgrid solutions within the next two years.

Energy service can help transform energy supply

Examples of EaaS projects can range from providing sustainable and reliable power for communities in remote areas that are not connected to a public power grid; to industrial parks that want to be supplied with green power as well as emergency back-up and mines that want to replace old, inefficient, equipment to meet new regulatory requirements and make use of as much renewable energy as possible.

“Energy-as-a-Service is particularly interesting for companies that need to adapt their energy supply to new circumstances – be it an expansion for which more power is needed or an adaptation to new regulatory requirements, such as emissions guidelines,” explained Andreas Görtz, Vice President Power Generation at Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

“Because this often involves investing in equipment, such as a microgrid, that requires expertise to operate, it's a challenge for customers to do this on their own. By offering Energy-as-a-Service, we can help them overcome that challenge.”

Portfolio for energy supply ranges from CHP to fuel cells to microgrids

The portfolio of energy systems that can be made available through ‘Energy-as-a-Service’ to provide electricity and/or heat, ranges from smaller plants using combined heat and power (CHP) units to battery containers and complex microgrid solutions. The existing mtu product range will be expanded in the coming years to include new technologies such as hydrogen-powered engines, fuel cell systems and combustion engines that can be operated with sustainable fuels such as e-diesel and hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO).

EaaS supports industrial companies on the way to Net Zero 

Perry Kuiper, President Sustainable Power Solutions at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said industrial companies and other businesses that rely on environmentally and climate-friendly energy can avoid ever-increasing energy and grid connection costs as a benefit from its new EaaS offering.

"We use our own new mtu technologies, our system expertise and our global network of partners and service locations to offer our customers an efficient and reliable energy supply on their way to climate neutrality. With SDCL, we have a strong financial partner on board that has successfully developed and financed clean energy, energy efficiency and decentralised energy infrastructure projects since 2007.”

Energy subscription: efficient and sustainable energy supply without high investments 

Jonathan Maxwell, CEO and Founder of SDCL, said it was established to facilitate investment in environmental infrastructure markets.

"The company has always focused on investing in projects that are good for the environment, good for people and commercially sustainable. We believe that with our new partner Rolls-Royce, we will be able to pursue these objectives even faster. Companies that want to avoid high investment costs for their own energy plant and focus on their core business, but still want an energy supply that is precisely designed to meet their needs, will be well served by our new offering."

Encycle launches SwarmStat for SMEs

Encycle Corporation, a software technology company focused on helping commercial and industrial customers dramatically improve the efficiency of their HVAC systems and energy efficiency programs using IoT-enabled services, has officially introduced its SwarmStat (EaaS) offering aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. 

"Traditional approaches to HVAC energy efficiency in the SMB market have had limited success as they required significant capital expenditures, increased complexity in operating and maintaining HVAC systems, and delivered inadequate returns on investment," said Robert Chiste, Encycle Chairman and CEO. "With the increased use of cloud deployment, Encycle allows building managers to coordinate their automation strategies with compatible connected thermostats for swift deployment and scalable operation."

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