Taylor Farms has partnered with Bloom Energy, Ameresco and Concept Clean Energy to install a microgrid capable of taking one of its California food processing facilities completely off the traditional energy grid.
The energy leaders plan to combine six megawatts of Bloom fuel cells, 2MW of solar power from Concept Clean Energy and a 2MW/4MWh battery into a microgrid that is designed to power the 450,000-square-foot facility in San Juan Bautista, California.
This collaboration combines the strength of each technology – fuel cells’ ability to generate resilient, always-on power, daytime power generation from solar and energy storage benefits from batteries – to fulfill the facility’s 24/7 power needs independently and cost-effectively. While microgrids are often implemented to provide power to critical loads in the event of outages, Taylor Farms seeks to prove that companies can take control of their energy needs and establish price and power predictability.
“We are looking forward to the energy stability this will provide our San Juan Bautista, California, facility,” said Bruce Taylor, chairman and CEO, Taylor Farms. “Fresh food reliability is essential for our customers and it’s more critical than ever to provide quality, fresh foods to North Americans.”
Per the California Independent System Operator, it is estimated that the state faces an energy capacity shortfall of 1,700 megawatts, which could be as high as 5,000 megawatts if California is hit with multiple extreme events at the same time, such as wildfires and heat waves. With the flexibility to use the technology for the right application, companies can avoid relying on strained power grids, as Bloom Energy and Ameresco aim to provide always-on power for Taylor Farms.
“Our partnership with Taylor Farms and Ameresco is a landmark demonstration of the capabilities that innovative, clean energy companies have to provide uninterrupted low-carbon power to large-scale facilities,” said Sharelynn Moore, EVP, chief business development and marketing officer, Bloom Energy. “Our decade-long relationship with Taylor Farms is culminating in this leading application of what a microgrid can do – enabling America’s largest producer of packaged produce to maintain and improve the reliability of their power.”
This journey builds on Taylor Farms’ relationship with Bloom Energy and is intended to allow the produce distributor to explore disconnecting from the regional power grid amid energy price escalations and reliability challenges.
At Taylor Farms, Bloom and its partners are paving the way for decarbonizing production, while showing how industries like agriculture, an important part of the California and national economies and the fifth largest source of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, can reach net-zero.
For more information about Bloom Energy’s microgrid capabilities and resilient clean energy platform, visit bloomenergy.com/applications/alwayson-microgrids.