A Publication of WTVP

Caterpillar Inc. has made great strides in creating new energy-efficient, cost-saving solutions for power generation. Earlier this year, in collaboration with Arizona-based solar panel manufacturer First Solar and energy storage firm Fludic Energy, Inc., Cat released a power system that combines the efficiency of solar panels with the reliability of traditional generator sets. Cat Hybrid Microgrid Solutions offer significantly lower operating costs and increased energy efficiency without relying on the grid—producing power where and when it is needed, without transmission lines.

Combining solar energy with diesel or gas fuel for power generation, the Cat Microgrid stores any excess energy produced—making it ideal for remote areas without easy access to electricity. In April, Caterpillar installed the new technology at its proving grounds in Tucson, Arizona. The hybrid system—consisting of 500 kW of solar PV, 500 kW of storage and three diesel generator sets—is expected to reduce fuel consumption at the grounds by one third.

Microgrids represent a new area of growth for the company, as demand is expected to skyrocket over the next decade, according to a recent Navigant Research report. Caterpillar’s first hybrid microgrid project is taking place in Indonesia, where it will assist the government in accelerating electrification across the country. Learn more at iBi