CleanSpark Microgrid Cuts Customer Costs 80%

July 13, 2021
A recently commissioned microgrid cut customer costs by 80% the first month of operation, according to CleanSpark, one of the project’s partners.

A recently commissioned solar-plus-storage microgrid in San Diego, California, reduced its host’s electricity bill by about 80% in its first month of operation, according to CleanSpark, one of the project’s partners.

The microgrid was designed for WS Display/San Diego Sign to provide economic optimization and cleaner energy, as well as cut costs, for the facility, according to CleanSpark, a Salt Lake City-based software, services and Bitcoin mining company.

CleanSpark’s mPulse controls platform manages 482 kW of rooftop solar panels and a 250-kW/548-kWh battery storage system that helps reduce demand charges.

CleanSpark’s microgrid control system was tested and approved by a “nationally recognized testing laboratory,” according to the company. Based on the testing results, San Diego Gas & Electric approved the mPulse platform to manage microgrid operations at the site and to export energy to the grid.

In addition, the project, which is next to the McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, California, cleared a Federal Aviation Administration study verifying that flight operations were undisturbed by the rooftop installation that included 1,200 solar panels, CleanSpark said.

The microgrid was installed by Solar Watt Solutions, which CleanSpark bought in February, and RSI Roofing.

With the microgrid in place, WS Display saw its monthly power bill drop from around $14,000 to a little over $3,000, according to Eric Van Velzer, the company’s chief financial officer. 

The microgrid received a 30% solar credit and battery incentive through the California Public Utilities Commission’s Self-Generation Incentive Program, which offers incentives for customer-sited distributed energy resources. 

Van Velzer said his company plans to add backup power and storage to the microgrid for resiliency during power outages.

CleanSpark plans Solar Watt expansion

In a May 6 report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, CleanSpark said it plans to expand Solar Watt’s scope to regions outside Southern California.

CleanSpark is developing a software platform called mVoult for integrating and optimizing solar, energy storage and backup generators for residential applications, according to the filing.

The company said it sees a strong global market for microgrids with defense installations, industrial complexes, communities, campuses and other aggregators seeking to decrease their reliance on existing energy grids, cut their utility bills, use cleaner power and enhance energy security.

CleanSpark income jumps

CleanSpark’s first quarter income jumped to $7.4 million on $8.1 million in revenue compared with a $5.8 million loss on $3.7 million in revenue in the year-ago period. The gain was driven by an $8.4 million unrealized gain on derivative security, according to the filing. The increase in revenue was led by the company’s Bitcoin mining operations.

In the first quarter this year, CleanSpark’s energy segment lost $9.2 million on $1.1 million in revenue compared with a $2.3 million loss on $3.4 million in revenue in the same period in 2020.

Join us for Microgrid California, an educational forum in Foster City, California, on Oct. 5.

About the Author

Ethan Howland

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