Tasteful Selections’ 1,100 employee ag facility in Arvin, California, is the site of a microgrid being built by Concentric Power. The expectation is that the project will cut the plant’s power bill by an estimated 40%. The company expects to pay off the microgrid’s cost within four to five years. The 5-megawatt solar, natural gas and battery installation will use Concentric computer systems to increase efficiency and allow the operation to continue during external disruptions to its power.
The $12 million project kicked off engineering almost a year and a half ago. The installation is expected to become fully operational by fall.
Senior executives at Tasteful Selections said the project will add resiliency to the plant during power outages, which has happened at the plant in the past for three or more hours at a time.
Tasteful Selections CEO Robert Bender says the resiliency is critical for the company, whose product can degenerate quickly. A loss of power for three or four hours could mean thousands or millions of dollars in product.
Tasteful Selections says the inclusion of natural gas as “firm power” adds a backup source while also producing heat that can be incorporated into the plant’s refrigeration units, thereby offsetting cooling costs.
Concentric’s founder and CEO, Brian Curtis, one of Environment + Energy Leader’s 2020 E+E Leader 100 honorees, says his Salinas-based organization will also maintain and service it for the installation’s lifetime of 25-plus years.