SunPower to build nearly 2-MW solar microgrid for natural gas facility

Aemetis, a producer of renewable natural gas and renewable fuels, has announced that it has selected and signed definitive agreements with SunPower and Schneider Electric for a grid-connected, solar-powered microgrid consisting of a nearly 2 MW solar panel and an energy storage system. 1.25MW. that will be integrated with an AI-driven distributed control system at the Aemetis Advanced Fuels biorefinery in Keyes, California.

In addition to designing and supplying the photovoltaic solar system, SunPower will act as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor.

A microgrid is a local sustainable energy network with control options, allowing it to be disconnected from the traditional electricity grid and operate autonomously. The microgrid system is powered by solar energy with battery storage to maximize the value of the electricity and extend power for hours. The microgrid provides energy resiliency and will aid off-peak and energy efficiency at the company’s low-carbon ethanol and renewable natural gas (RNG) upgrade and injection facility in Keyes, California.

The new AI-enabled operating system will run on virtualized servers, reducing the amount of computing hardware by 80%, requiring less power to operate than traditional systems. Virtualized systems do not require a hardware change to upgrade legacy operating systems or security changes. The virtual environment will also help reduce planned and unplanned downtime.

“At a time when the transportation industry is striving to meet sustainability goals and reduce emissions, solar continues to become a bigger part of our everyday lives with innovative solutions that help improve our air quality,” said Eric Potts, executive VP for commercial at SunPower . “SunPower is proud to partner with Aemetis to leverage the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which encourages renewable options for their operations and helps the transportation industry in the west become decarbonised. We applaud Aemetis for their leadership and harnessing the power of the sun.”

The $12 million solar microgrid, battery backup and AI-enabled energy system is supported by an $8 million grant awarded to Aemetis by the California Energy Commission.

News item from Aemetis

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