Taylor Farms installing Microgrid featuring Fuel Cells, Solar & Batteries in California

Sept. 22, 2022
The installation at the 450,000 square-foot food processing facility in California will include 6 MW of Bloom fuel cells, 2 MW of solar power from Concept Clean Energy and a 2-MW/4-MWh battery

Fresh foods producer Taylor Farms will take its San Juan Bautista facility in California off the traditional grid by partnering with fuel cells firm Bloom Energy and renewable energy solutions firms Ameresco and Concept Clean Energy to install a microgrid to meet the facility’s energy requirements.

The installation at the 450,000 square-foot food processing facility in California will include 6 MW of Bloom fuel cells, 2 MW of solar power from Concept Clean Energy and a 2-MW/4-MWh battery. The collaboration will combine the strengths of each technology to meet the power needs of the facility 24/7, independently and cost-effectively.

“We are looking forward to the energy stability this will provide our San Juan Bautista, California facility,” said Bruce Taylor, Chairman and CEO, Taylor Farms. “Fresh food reliability is essential for our customers and it’s more critical than ever to provide quality, fresh foods to North Americans.”

The project will demonstrate how industries, like agriculture, can achieve net-zero emissions. Agriculture is an important part of the state and national economies. It is also the fifth largest source of GHG emissions in California.

Massachusetts-based Ameresco is a developer and contractor on completing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for businesses, government buildings and military bases.

“Ameresco is excited to partner with Bloom and Taylor Farms on a truly transformative project that demonstrates innovation in advanced energy technologies,” said Ameresco EVP Michael Bakas. “We look forward to this project serving as a blueprint for others as the role for baseload, dispatchable alternative energy sources serve as the cornerstone for resiliency in microgrids.”

California may face an energy capacity shortfall of 1,700MW to 5,000MW if multiple extreme events hit the state at the same time, like heat waves and wildfires, says the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). For food producers, like Taylor Farms, reliable energy supply is essential for smooth operation.

Taylor Farms has upgraded several of its California operations to include sustainable energy resources.