Taylor Farms goes off grid with fuel cell, solar and battery power

By Becky Schultz23 September 2022

Taylor Farms is completing the installation 2 MW of solar power at its facility in San Juan Bautista, Calif., which will be combined with 6 MW of fuel cells from Bloom Energy and a 2 MW/4 MWh battery into a microgrid designed to power the entire 450000 sq. ft. facility. (Photo: Business Wire)

Taylor Farms has partnered with Bloom Energy, Ameresco Inc. and Concept Clean Energy to install a microgrid capable of taking its San Juan Bautista, Calif., food processing facility completely off the energy grid. The North American fresh foods producer is completing installation of 2 MW of solar power from Concept Clean energy that, when combined with 6 MW of Bloom fuel cells and a 2 MW/4 MWh battery, will create a microgrid capable of powering the entire 450000 sq. ft. facility.

The collaboration between the energy solutions providers combines the strength of each technology – fuel cells’ ability to generate resilient, always-on power, daytime power generation from solar and energy storage benefits from batteries – to independently and cost effectively fulfill the facility’s 24/7 power needs, the announcement noted. It is intended to allow the produce distributor to explore disconnecting from the regional power grid amid energy price escalations and reliability challenges.

“Working with Taylor Farms’ leadership has inspired Concept Clean Energy to develop highly innovative and versatile solutions for solar canopies, rooftops and ground-mounted applications,” said Elliot Jaramillo, CEO, Clean Concept Energy. “We’re enabling Taylor Farms to achieve energy independence and realize unprecedented economic returns.”

“Our partnership with Taylor Farms and Ameresco is a landmark demonstration of the capabilities that innovative, clean energy companies have to provide uninterrupted low-carbon power to large-scale facilities,” said Sharelynn Moore, EVP, chief business development and marketing officer, Bloom Energy. “Our decade-long relationship with Taylor Farms is culminating in this leading application of what a microgrid can do – enabling America’s largest producer of packaged produce to maintain and improve the reliability of their power.”

Ameresco EVP Michael Bakas agreed, adding, “Ameresco is excited to partner with Bloom and Taylor Farms on a truly transformative project that demonstrates innovation in advanced energy technologies. 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.”

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