Indoor farm will tap solar microgrid to keep plants growing year-round

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Bowery Farming’s New Jersey factory will include energy storage, solar panels, and on-site gas generation.

By Bill Opalka
Energy News
January 4, 2019

Excerpt:

Microgrids are becoming increasingly popular to support uninterrupted operation of critical infrastructure like emergency and public safety buildings, hospitals, and sites that need a guaranteed power supply like data centers. In an agricultural setting, especially in the Northeast with hot summers and colder winters with shorter days, a stable, climate-controlled environment is required for plants that thrive in moderate temperatures.

The farm will run on grid power for part of its needs. Solar will provide about 15 percent of the energy required. The natural gas generator and batteries will provide the rest.

“Our assets can do a bunch of things, but in this case our natural gas product and the battery help primarily to manage peak loads,” Goodman said.

The load profile is advantageous, as solar energy production peaks as overall grid demand rises and energy costs increase. Power stored in the on-site batteries could then be released to lower demand from the grid.

Goodman said the system will use the three assets in an optimal way, based on the load profile and the value proposition presented by opportunities for peak shaving and demand response.

“Generically, a solution like this would provide a 20 or 30 percent savings in energy consumption from the normal cost structure of a similar facility,” Goodman said.

Read the complete article here.

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