Mon01172022

Last updateMon, 15 Jun 2020 10pm

Back You are here: Home News News Business Cat announces alliance to increase access to power

Cat announces alliance to increase access to power

Log in to save this page.
600px Caterpillar logo

Caterpillar Inc. announced Thursday it has developed a strategic alliance that will create microgrids to give access to solar power in remote locations and applications.

Caterpillar and First Solar Inc. will develop an integrated photovoltaic solar solution to get power to the millions across the world who lack access to electricity, the company said in a news release.

“Basic human needs, including access to clean water, health care and education, rely on one critical element: energy. However, today, more than 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity and billions more need access to a reliable grid. 

“Caterpillar's Electric Power Division is working to resolve these issues by providing a variety of advanced power solutions,” the company said.

Under the agreement, First Solar will design and manufacture a pre-engineered turnkey package for use in remote microgrid applications, such as small communities and mine sites. The package will feature Cat-branded solar panels manufactured by First Solar and will include a balance of system components.

Caterpillar will exclusively sell and support the integrated solution featuring Cat-branded solar panels through its worldwide Cat dealer network, along with its current offerings of generator sets and energy storage. Cat dealers will be uniquely positioned to provide customers with this fully integrated and supported single solution in the large and rapidly growing microgrid market today.

Microgrids provide value to prime power diesel and gas customers by integrating renewable energy, such as solar power, with generator sets. With these solutions, Caterpillar can help deliver reliable, cost-effective and sustainable energy for customers.

"We are excited to announce this alliance, underpinned by First Solar's 10 gigawatts of global experience in solar energy, and coupled with Caterpillar's knowledge of generator sets and distributed power, and the strength of our unmatched dealer network," said Steve Niehaus, Caterpillar vice president for the Electric Power Division. "By working with First Solar, we will optimize the efficiency and integration of solar power with our offerings."

"This strategic alliance provides yet more evidence of a global energy transition, where solar energy's reliability and cost competitiveness with traditional fuels effectively allows it to complement conventional generation. It is also evidence of the role that solar can play in enabling the local generation and distribution of energy to address specific needs," said Marc van Gerven, First Solar's vice president for Global Marketing. "By entering into this alliance with Caterpillar, with its extensive experience and reach, we're establishing an important new precedent for the commercialization and scaling of microgrid-based distributed generation solutions."

Caterpillar expects to first market the new microgrid solution in the Asia Pacific, Africa, and Latin America regions, with the integrated PV solution, including Cat-branded solar panels, available for customers in that region in the second half of 2015.

This new alliance supports Caterpillar's belief that sustainable progress is made possible by developing solutions to help improve the quality of life, while also minimizing economic, social and environmental costs.

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).