Solar+Storage Microgrid planned for Cold Storage Warehouse

Dec. 2, 2021
The firms will install a 1.4-MW solar, a 750 kW/1,500 kWh BESS and a microgrid control system at the McClellan facility in California

GridMarket and partner United States Cold Storage selected power producer Catalyze via a competitive bid process to set up a solar-plus-storage microgrid at the USCS McClellan facility in California within the next year.

The project will include a 1.4MW dc solar, 750 kW/1,500 kWh battery energy storage system and a microgrid control system. It will enable the cold storage warehouse to transition to clean energy. The establishment of the system will be the first phase, which will be followed by the expansion of the system and increasing value in the second phase. The first phase is expected to be operational by late 2022.

USCS will purchase the system, which will offset more than 25% of its current energy demand and save $4.4 million over 25 years. 

“Our plan is to expand the microgrid system and operations along with the expansion of the warehouse that is currently underway," said Oisin O’Brien, VP, Data Analytics and Project Development at GridMarket. "The next phase will aim to offset 90-95% of the facility’s future energy demand, generating tremendous financial, environmental, and resiliency value for USCS. In addition to greater amounts of solar and storage, there will be opportunities to include other technologies, such as a fuel cell, that will further optimize onsite energy generation and use.”

 GridMarket and the USCS teams worked together throughout the process. GridMarket applied its digital, AI-driven portfolio evaluation tool and worked with the USCS team to select the McClellan facility to set up the microgrid.

 O’Brien explained, “The McClellan site was the ideal candidate for our initial project. The review and launch coincided with planned warehouse expansion, the facility has high, volatile energy costs, current conditions in the California energy market are opportune, and both the corporate leadership and the team on the ground at the McClellan warehouse have been engaged and committed to the entire process.”

 Meanwhile, Catalyze was selected from a short-list of quality proposals obtained through GridMarket’s secure RFP platform. A prequalified group of vendors responded to the project specifications and requirements. 

 USCS Vice President of Engineering Mike Lynch said, “This microgrid project was facilitated and optimized through the intelligent data analytics, technology and vendor agnostic approach, and carefully curated competitive bid process of the GridMarket platform. GridMarket’s coordination with the USCS team and other stakeholders has allowed us to create a solution that aligns with our corporate goals. We selected Catalyze from a group of strong proposals, and we are confident in their ability to meet our energy needs. The local team on the ground at the McClellan site has been fantastic, and we are thrilled to validate this model and demonstrate the tremendous value that such a solution will bring to our facility, the industry, and the broader market.”

Catalyze recently acquired Northeast solar developer Sol Alliance (pictured above).  

About the Author

EnergyTech Staff

Rod Walton is senior editor for He has spent 14 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist.

Walton formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

He can be reached at [email protected]

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids.

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.