Six California bakeries are installing on-site renewable energy microgrid systems to help them with electricity needs while cutting carbon emissions.
Bimbo Bakeries USA is entering an energy services agreement with GreenStruxure to design, build, own, operate and maintain the microgrids, which will be made up of solar arrays and coupled with battery storage. Bimbo Bakeries will receive zero-carbon energy, peak demand management and optimized energy use from the grid.
The microgrid systems will help the bakeries reduce carbon emissions by around 25% while also producing about a quarter of the electricity needs at the locations. GreenStruxure’s digital platform will also give Bimbo Bakeries USA transparency of the system’s performance.
The California bakeries were chosen based on their energy intensity, high decarbonization impact and increasing electricity costs. They are located in Montebello, Placentia, Oxnard, San Luis Obispo, South San Francisco and Sacramento.
Bimbo Bakeries USA says high utility costs in the state and an incentive rich environment for renewable energy makes installing the microgrids an important piece of its energy and sustainability initiatives. These types of installations are part of the state’s renewable energy plans, and last year the California Energy Commission voted to require solar and battery storage on new commercial buildings.
As businesses search for ways to become more energy efficient, microgrids and virtual power plants offer a way to help them make energy improvements. That is also increasing the energy-as-a-service (EaaS) market, which Guidehouse says will grow by 32% annually through 2030 and be valued at $66 billion.
GreenStruxure, which started in 2020 as a joint venture between Schneider Electric and Huck Capital, offers modular, standardized renewable energy microgrids under the EaaS model.
Bimbo Bakeries USA is an RE100 member as well as an EPA Green Power Partner. The company overall says it uses 418 million kilowatt hours of green power each year as it targets reaching net zero by 2050. Other sustainability goals include zero waste initiatives as well as advocating for regenerative agriculture.
The company is a part of Group Bimbo, which has baking operations in 33 countries.