California’s Sea Shield Marine, creator of anodes for divers and sea craft, expects to see its energy bills drop dramatically in the near future. That’s due to an advanced microgrid it is building in partnership with DR Microgrid.
Sea Shield signed a contract in April with DR Microgrid for a project that will include advanced solar, combined heat and power, energy storage and microgrid ADR controls.
Located in Walnut, Calif., Sea Shield already had a 320 kW solar panel system on its roof, installed nine years ago. But the company’s utility bill has reamined high due to demand charges. Sea Shield plans to better manage its energy spend by leveraging the microgrid for peak demand reduction and income generation from demand response.
On top of energy bill reduction, Sea Shield expects the advanced microgrid to increase electric reliability and therefore decrease lost production hours, since the industrial park microgrid will be able to disconnect from the local utility during power outages and operate in island mode — a key feature of microgrids.
“The concept of microgrids is changing; they are now seen as being able to not only integrate renewables, save money, and improve reliability but also participate in markets,” said AJ Perkins, national sales director at DR Microgrid.
Resilience also becoming an important part of the business case for microgrids in California because of its wildfires.
Although they can rarely be predicted with accuracy, these natural events and disasters are occurring with greater frequency.
And it’s not surprising many California utility customers are turning to tools like microgrids. In fact, PG&E shared in the Wall Street Journal that it may shut off power to as much as an eighth of the state’s population for as long as five days when dangerously high winds arise — in a new plan to prevent wildfires. Other utilities in the state have cited similar plans.
In addition to offering cost management and electric reliability, the microgrid can help Sea Shield with its goals to achieve carbon neutrality and Energy Star Certification. The project includes installation of indoor LEDs. outdoor solar LEDs and smart thermostats
Sea Shield explained that it chose to purchase its microgrid system instead of leasing, due to financial benefits from various incentives and credits available.
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