Scale Microgrids picked for almond warehouse project
By Chad Elmore07 December 2022
Massive cold storage facility will not be connected to grid
When it opens next year, Amond World will be a state-of-the-art refrigerated cold storage facility comprised of two 250,000 sq. ft. buildings that can hold approximately 50 million pounds of almonds or other crops for farmers and processors.
Cold storage for California’s agricultural industry is a critical link in the supply chain. The facility in Madera is expected to provide short- and long-term storage and will increase profitability, extend almond shelf life by up to two years, and simplify hold costs and logistics.
In order to guarantee energy access, reliability and cost economics while considering the sustainability of the facility, Amond World’s real estate investment partner Origo Investments recently hired Scale Microgrids to design, build, own and operate an off-grid clean energy microgrid providing cheaper, cleaner and more 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 system will also include two 1200 kW natural gas generators.
“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,” said 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. Scale Microgrids is there to help support our commitment to the farmers.”
The largest producer of almonds in the world, the state of California has faced energy capacity shortfalls and extreme weather events, creating unpredictability for the local utility grid.
The completely off-grid microgrid that Scale Microgrids will build in Madera can run off of solar and storage alone for part of the day, which the company said is a unique aspect for this size of a project.
“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”, said Ryan Goodman, Chief Executive Officer 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. Our microgrid provides them with predictable, low energy costs for the long-term, clean power, and peace of mind. We both finance and operate the system, leaving Amond World with only needing to focus on the farmers and the almonds.”
Construction is underway for the cold storage warehouses, where inside temperatures will dip down to 32 F. The energy system and buildings are expected to be fully commissioned by May 2023.