Scale Microgrids designs solar + storage microgrid so cold storage facility can run off-grid

Amond world logo

Origo Investments is partnering with the old storage pros at Amond World, to develop a state-of-the-art refrigerated cold storage facility in the Madera Airport Industrial Park in California, which will include two 250,000 sq ft buildings, each holding approximately 50 million pounds of almonds or other recently harvested crops for farmers and processors.

“Central California produces 60% of all the nuts and citrus consumed in the U.S. each year, the almond industry alone produces 80% of the world’s global supply,” says Origo Investments principal Adam Hayner. “We believe that these new cold storage facilities will support local farmers through empowering them to more efficiently manage the sale of their crops over longer periods and ultimately to deliver higher profitability. To achieve this, we are building temperature-controlled storage that focuses on and prioritizes sustainability.”

System design

Scale Microgrids has been tapped to design, build, own and operate an off-grid clean energy microgrid providing cheaper, cleaner and more reliable power. Scale is a vertically integrated distributed energy platform with a team of energy and financing experts that help large energy-consuming customers ​take charge of their energy infrastructure.

“The developer came to us with a need for an off-grid, sustainable, and reliable power system for their facility in order to expedite their project development timeline,” says Ryan Goodman, CEO and co-founder at Scale Microgrids. “The sheer number of pounds of valuable inventory in this facility makes it absolutely impossible to have anything less than 100% continuous, reliable power.”

The microgrid system will include 1,200 kW of rooftop solar. Storage of the solar energy will be provided by a 1,200 kW/ 2,400 kWh battery system. The microgrid will include two 1,200 kW enhanced emission-reducing controllable generators.

“Our microgrid provides them with predictable, low energy costs for the long-term, clean power, and peace of mind,” Goodman says. “We both finance and operate the system, leaving Amond World with only needing to focus on the farmers and the almonds.”

Building in resilience

Cold storage for California’s agricultural industry is a critical link in the supply chain that feeds our country and serves as an engine of economic growth for the state. The facility will provide short- and long-term storage and extend almond shelf life by up to two years, and simplify hold costs and logistics.

California is also facing energy capacity shortfalls and extreme weather events, creating unpredictability for the local utility grid. The completely off-grid microgrid that Scale is building in Madera can run off of solar and storage alone for part of the day, a unique aspect for this size of a project.

Construction is already underway for the cold storage warehouses, where inside temperatures will dip down to 32 degrees. The energy system and buildings plan to be fully commissioned by May 2023.

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