Bowery Farming, a New York City-based startup specializing in vertical indoor farming, is planning a new hybrid microgrid system for the company’s newly commissioned facility in New Jersey. Schneider Electric and Scale Microgrid Solutions agreed to design, engineer, and build the new system.
Scale Microgrid Solutions agreed to build, own, and operate a proprietary hybrid microgrid system that utilizes Schneider Electric EcoStruxure technology for Bowery Farming’s facility. The system will use distributed energy resources including a rooftop solar array, a natural gas generator equipped with advanced emissions control technologies, and Schneider Electric’s lithium-ion battery energy storage system interconnected in a behind-the-meter configuration, the companies involved say.
Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor (EMA), a cloud-connected, demand-side energy management software platform, will be integrated into the new system, allowing Scale Microgrid Solutions to manage the renewable energy and control energy spend. The companies working on the system say it will also be equipped to operate in island mode so the farm remains powered during unexpected outages.
Each Bowery indoor vertical farm uses precision farming to deliver nutrients, light, and water to crops in the exact amounts required — without any agrochemicals, according to the startup. LED lights mimic the full spectrum of the sun, and each farm uses 95% less water than traditional agriculture. The produce gets distributed right away to restaurants and grocery stores in the New York metro area, including several Whole Foods Market locations.
“We are a tech company that is thinking about the future of food,” Bowery’s co-founder and CEO Irving Fain told Forbes last year.
Previously Bowery Farming raised $20 million from investors. Earlier this fall, the startup opened a second facility in Kearney, New Jersey, that Bowery Farming officials said produces 30 times more output than its New York City location, according to the Shelby Report.
“Bowery has created a facility wherein crop production is already 100 times more efficient than traditional farmland, creating a greater need for reliable, efficient power,” said Ryan Goodman, CEO of Scale Microgrid Solutions. Commissioning of Bowery’s microgrid project is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019.