Construction of a new 517 kilowatt solar array and a 424 kilowatt an hour Tesla battery system is now complete at Agri-Industrial Plastics in Fairfield, a leading manufacturer of blow molded plastic parts. Tesla Powerpack, which is a battery energy storage system designed for commercial and utility-scale customers, will allow AIP to ‘peak shave.’ Peak shaving cuts expensive demand charges by reducing electricity consumption during high times such as hot summer days. Demand charges can increase a customer’s electrical costs for the entire year and account for up to 30% to 70% of a customer’s utility bill.
Battery energy storage systems automatically detect when power usage exceeds a pre-determined threshold and switch from the grid or solar panels to batteries until the additional demand is over. When demand goes back down the batteries recharge.
Because AIP runs three shifts, its power usage is high at night when solar arrays are not producing. Battery energy storage systems provide a solution, allowing AIP to peak shave at any time, day or night.
Ideal Energy in Fairfield, one of Iowa’s leading solar energy firms, designed and built the array and installed the Tesla Powerpack system. The array, built on the roof of AIP’s 340,000 square foot facility at 22nd St. and Grimes Ave., will save the company an average of $42,477 per year and prevent 9,377 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere over the next 25 years – equivalent to over 10 million pounds of coal. This is the first solar project in the Midwest to incorporate the Tesla Battery System. A ribbon cutting is expected to be held on Thursday at 4pm.