AGRI-INDUSTRIAL PLASTICS COMPANY

Solar & Storage Power Plant

CASE STUDY

Using solar energy and Tesla Powerpack to help hire & retain top talent, reduce energy costs, and stay ahead of competitors

A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

The solar and storage power plant at Agri-Industrial Plastics Company is the first installation in Iowa to combine solar with Tesla Powerpack energy storage technology for peak shaving.

The power plant is part of the company’s competitive strategy to:

Attract employees and vendors with a commitment to clean energy innovation

Reduce overall electricity costs with peak demand shaving

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Combining technology, data, design, & machine learning to create an intelligent, future-facing energy system

Agri-Industrial Plastics Company’s power plant features a 517 kW roof-mounted solar array that works in tandem with a 212 kW Tesla Powerwall battery energy storage system. During the day, the solar panels generate energy which charges the Powerwall and powers the company’s advanced manufacturing operations. The battery system runs on an artificially-intelligent control system to automatically discharge at times of high energy usage, (or peak demand) to avoid or reduce costly demand charges.

This power plant gives Agri-Industrial Plastics Company greater control, efficiency and reliability in managing expensive electrical peaks. With 6,000+ manufacturing businesses in Iowa representing more than 18% of the state’s GPD, our project is setting the example for how the manufacturing industry can control energy costs and increase sustainable business practices with advanced energy technology.

I would consider solar a strategic investment for our future. We’re in it for the long haul. We’re in it for our customers, we’re in it for our employees, we’re in it for our community of Fairfield.”

–Lori Schaefer-Weaton, President, Agri-Industrial Plastics Company

SITE MAP

ADVANVED MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS

Agri-Industrial Plastics Company is a leading custom industrial blow molder. The company designs, manufactures, and assembles EPA-compliant, multi-layer fuel tanks and other critical components for non-automotive industries. Agri runs 27 production lines 24 hours per day, 5 days a week, with heavy energy usage.

SOLAR ARRAY

The solar array is a 517 kW DC (400 kW AC) roof-mounted installation. The array produces enough energy to offset 4-5% of the annual energy usage. Although this is a small portion of the company’s overall power needs, the combined solar and battery systems reduce our monthly peak load by an average of 6%.

TESLA POWERPACK

Tesla Powerpacks house the world’s most sophisticated lithium-ion batteries. Each Powerpack is a DC energy storage device containing 16 individual battery pods, a thermal control system and hundreds of sensors that monitor and report on cell-level performance. Our installation features two Powerpack units with a central control system.

COMMUNICATIONS & CONTROL

The system is controlled by a central, intelligent software designed to effectively manage power and energy flow, while balancing demand needs and maximizing economic benefit for AIP. Opticaster, Tesla’s load generation forecasting software, taps into Tesla’s portfolio of well over one gigawatt-hours of on-grid projects to help predict and optimize system performance.

Opticaster will use data from these projects to provide the initial algorithm to control the batteries. As AIP’s energy storage system gathers more data on its own performance and AIP’s load profile over time, it will use that data to further refine the algorithm.

WHITE PAPER

Peak Shaving in Advanced Manufacturing

How Agri-Industrial Plastics Company is using solar plus battery energy storage to take control of its utility costs

Download our white paper to learn more about how advanced manufacturing operations can use solar and storage to optimize energy production & consumption. In our paper, we model Agri-Industrial Plastic Company’s energy load profile and outline the engineering and technology behind their peak shaving power plant.

DOWNLOAD TO LEARN MORE ABOUT:

  • Unique challenges for large electric consumers with on-site renewables
  • Managing energy loads for advanced manufacturing operations with solar & storage
  • Intelligent use of AI in solar power plants including predictive algorithms, machine learning, control systems, and feedback

A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Empowering Iowa’s Manufacturing Economy

Manufacturing is Iowa’s largest industry – larger even than agriculture. Advanced manufacturing contributes $29 billion annually to Iowa’s economy with 6,000 operations employing 216,00 people across the state.

Recognizing the potential of solar and storage to reduce costs for Iowa’s manufacturing industry, we’ve partnered with the Iowa Economic Development Association (IEDA) and Fairfield Economic Development Association (FEDA) on our state’s first energy storage research grant studying the performance and applications of the technology used in the Agri-Industrial Plastic’s installation.

WHAT CAN SOLAR DO FOR YOU?

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*Estimated 25 year utility savings are above and beyond the installed system cost with incentives, and are based on current utility electrical rates and predicted future utility rates. Production data is based on NREL and PV Watts.

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