Construction Machinery Giant – Caterpillar forays into the Solar Storage and Microgrid Business

Construction Machinery Giant

Caterpillar – a known name in construction machinery and generators has forayed into the storage and microgrid markets which combine solar PV and energy storage with the company’s power generation equipment.

Bringing along a years of experience in power generation –both in provider of generators and power projects, the company has acceptably sneaked into the storage and microgrid market with years of experience in power generation.

Cat Microgrid Technology is available in a range from 10kW to 100MW of modular solutions. It can be configured to include thin-film solar panels, Caterpillar generator sets and a selection of energy storage technologies, including ultracapacitors and lithium-ion batteries.

Last month, Lockheed Martin entered the storage market with a push into lithium-ion batteries and plans to commercialize a new flow battery design. Lockheed Martin joined the ranks of companies such as ABB, General Electric, LG Chem, Panasonic, Samsung and Tesla Motors in the storage market.

Caterpillar’s entry into the microgrid market is known to build on the strategic alliance the company formed just over one year ago with First Solar. Together the companies are developing solar panels for microgrids. First Solar will manufacture the panels, which will be “Cat-branded” and bundled with Caterpillar microgrid equipment.

“With the declining cost of renewable energy sources and rapid advances in energy storage technology, the time is right to provide an integrated application for remote power,” said Rick Rathe, general manager of new ventures for Caterpillar’s electric power business.

Caterpillar also has an equity investment in Fluidic Energy as part of an agreement to develop advanced energy storage solutions for emerging markets using a rechargeable metal-air technology.

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