Microgrid Project Update: Wastewater Plant and Cannabis Growing Facilities

Oct. 27, 2021
From the West Coast to the Eastern Seaboard, here is a look at three new microgrid projects underway in the United States for wastewater treatment and cannabis operations.

From the West Coast to the Eastern Seaboard, here is a look at three new microgrid projects underway in the United States for wastewater treatment and cannabis operations.

McKinleyville Wastewater Treatment Plant 

On Oct. 14, 2021, the McKinleyville Community Service District (MCSD) in Humboldt County, California, held the groundbreaking ceremony for a new microgrid at a wastewater treatment facility.

Dedicated to the indigenous Wiyot tribe, the project is being referred to as the “da’ledik’ Microgrid,” which translates to “the sun is shining.” 

Ameresco was selected to develop the microgrid after designing and submitting a bid packet that offered electricity cost savings.

Expected to be complete in the spring of 2022, the microgrid will consist of a 580-kW solar array backed by 500 kW of energy storage. Designed to power the entire wastewater treatment plant, the system will be able to produce 1,340 KWh in a single discharge alongside an existing diesel generator.

California’s Harborside 

Heading south down the California coast, Scale Microgrid Solutions is developing a 100% offset solar microgrid for a 47-acre cannabis growing facility in Salinas. 

The company, which has been developing microgrids for cannabis cultivation since 2017, expects this project to be the largest of its kind in the industry, consisting of 4.9 MW of solar panels and 6 MWh of battery storage.

Covering 10 acres of the Harborside growing facility, the microgrid is estimated to produce  8,600,000 kWh of electricity every year. 

Scale Microgrid also estimates that the renewable energy installation will save Harborside more than $12.5 million in electricity expenses over 20 years. 

The project is expected to be finished in the second half of 2022. This will be just in time for Harborside to avoid paying future carbon offset credits, which California is implementing on Jan 1, 2023. 

Maryland cannabis cultivation

Across the country, Scale Microgrid Solutions is financing and developing another notable power system for cannabis cultivation in Jessup, Maryland, near Baltimore.

Built for Verano, a national cannabis brand, the installation will incorporate a combined cooling, heat and power system with a 172-kW rooftop solar array and 2 MW of microturbine generators paired with 800-ton absorption chillers for capturing waste heat. 

To complete the project, Scale Microgrid is working with NgenX, an energy consultant, and E-Finity Distributed Generation, a Capstone Turbine distributor, for the engineering, procurement and construction.

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About the Author

Brian Church

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