SALINAS, California (March 26, 2021) – Concentric Power Inc., an energy technology company deploying intelligent microgrids throughout California, announced today that it has broken ground on a 5.0 MW microgrid for Tasteful Selections, a vertically integrated farmer-owned, farmer-driven bite-size potato growing, packing and shipping operation. For the first time in California’s Central Valley, there will be a thoughtfully designed, intelligent microgrid powering a major grower that brings sustainability, resilience, and energy independence.
The microgrid will incorporate energy generation, distribution and storage using Concentric Power’s intelligent microgrid control platform to manage all distributed energy assets. It will improve the sustainability of Tasteful Selections’ business while delivering resilience through “islanding” capability for continued operations during power outages within the broader utility grid. Tasteful Selections will own the microgrid, while Concentric Power will design, build,operate and maintain the system for the life of the equipment, which is approximately 25 years.
“Throughout California, we’re seeing how microgrids can be a game changer for ag customers, and this project is another step in our journey towards changing the energy industry landscape in the state and beyond,” said Brian Curtis, CEO at Concentric Power. “Tasteful Selections has been an incredible partner and we’re looking forward to jointly seeing this project provide energy resilience and sustainability for them in the long run.”
“We’re excited to be working with Concentric Power because their core values align with ours and this microgrid optimizes our operation,” said Bob Bender, CEO and President at Tasteful Selections. “The resilience and sustainability that this project brings to the table shifts our focus from energy stability to our core business rather than the headaches of energy outages and price spikes.”
The partnership between Concentric Power and Tasteful Selections will support over 30 construction jobs and create at least five full time roles – including engineering, operations and maintenance and asset management – within Kern County. The $12 million project is anticipated to be completed in Q3 of 2021.
Saving Energy Costs
For years, growers have had to overcome energy supply challenges, but now Tasteful Selections will enjoy energy independence. The microgrid will combine reliable firm power, clean solar power, battery storage and an intelligent microgrid controller that utilizes Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning technology to proactively manage energy supply and demand to ensure the lowest cost energy resource is used at any given time.
As a result, Tasteful Selections will enjoy day to day savings and avoid costly operational interruptions caused by utility power outages and Public Safety Power Shutoffs. It is expected that the microgrid will help Tasteful Selections save upwards of 40% on energy costs and help guarantee that their bite-size potatoes will always be fresh.
Powerful and Sustainable
Combining 3.6 MW cogeneration firm power with 120 kW solar and 1.25 MW/625 kWh lithium-ion battery storage, the microgrid has approximately 5.0 MW total capacity with provisions to add additional renewables, including more solar and renewable natural gas. It is architected to create energy efficiency at every turn, from capturing and repurposing heat to optimizing engine efficiency and advanced load side management. The microgrid incorporates solar energy generation and battery storage to provide Tasteful Selections a pathway to net zero carbon.
Concentric Power’s microgrid controller will integrate with Tasteful Selection’s equipment automation platform to deliver active and predictive load management, ensuring optimal performance of Tasteful Selection’s operation during both normal daily operations as well as during outage events. Concentric Power designed the project to account for the site’s individual characteristics while taking advantage of its standardized technology building blocks. Concentric Power’s technology platform allows this approach to be easily implemented no matter the individual characteristics of a site.
Concentric Power’s control and dispatch platform is cloud-based and secure, but will be complimented by a physical Network Operation center (NOC) staffed by engineers and technicians. “What we’re doing here is an industry-standard-setting microgrid design,” said Mike Delgado, vice president of engineering and services at Concentric Power.