Across the U.S., sustainable microgrids are emerging as a vital tool in the fight against climate change and increasingly common natural disasters.
The urban indoor vertical farm industry is at an important juncture. Automation is taking root, long-term contracts with creditworthy retail and food service distributors are in the works and vertical farms are preparing to scale up. Also, the industry is about to get its first trade group, the American Association for Urban and Vertical Farming.
Scale Microgrid Solutions is on a mission to make sophisticated microgrids as easy to deploy and finance as rooftop solar, said Timothy Hade, microgrid specialist for the company.
Under the terms of the agreement, Scale Microgrid Solutions will build, own and operate a proprietary hybrid microgrid system that leverages Schneider Electric EcoStruxure technology for Bowery’s newly commissioned facility in New Jersey, the most technologically sophisticated commercial farm in the world.
The new hybrid microgrid system will be built for the farm’s newly commissioned facility in New Jersey, which will be designed to support indoor vertical farming. That microgrid will involve a rooftop solar array and natural gas generator, coupled with a lithium-ion battery storage system. A cloud-connected system behind the meter will connect the microgrid.
When John Caldwell of the Edison Electric Institute began a microgrid task force a few years ago, the utilities that joined saw no need to meet more than annually. Now they want to meet monthly, reflecting what Caldwell sees as exponential growth in utility microgrids.
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and similar organizations from Australia, Canada, Europe and Japan joined forces this week to support modernizing the grid and including microgrids as part of the backbone.
More than one billion people don’t have access to electricity, according to the International Energy Association. Microgrids can operate independently of larger grids, helping to offset any disturbances.
Cities are moving away from dependency on national grids to a focus on small-scale local grids fueled by renewable energy generated by the urban environment
All microgrids offer greater electric reliability. But the clean energy microgrid does more. It also reduces carbon emissions and helps organizations reach sustainability goals—an achievement increasingly valued by the healthcare community, business customers, government constituents, and college students, parents and donors.