United Therapeutics Unveils Net Zero Energy Distribution Center

by | Jun 15, 2023

United Therapeutics staff speaking on stage

(Credit: United Therapeutics)

United Therapeutics unveiled its net zero energy distribution center at its Research Triangle Park Campus in North Carolina, which includes a microgrid-based electrical system and geothermal technology to ensure environmentally conscious pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution.

The new facility, named “Phase Five,” showcases the company’s commitment to sustainability and marks an important milestone in its sustainable portfolio, United Therapeutics said.

Phase Five Net Zero Energy Distribution Center

The 55,000-square-foot distribution center is designed to meet current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) for pharmaceutical products. It will primarily serve as a storage and distribution hub for United Therapeutics’ latest drug-device combination product.

Meeting cGMP standards require stringent temperature control, making the achievement of net-zero energy a significant challenge. 

Net-Zero Sustainability Features

The net zero energy distribution center incorporates a geothermal system consisting of 40 vertical bores, which utilizes core earth temperatures to regulate building systems and environmental conditions. This system is expandable to meet future capacity needs.

Additionally, the facility boasts a microgrid-based electrical system powered by two Tesla Megapacks, providing 6.2-megawatt hours of battery capacity for backup power without relying on fossil fuels.

Solar energy plays a crucial role in the facility’s energy supply, enabling the facility to operate for extended periods when disconnected from the utility grid. This eliminates the need for a standby generator, further reducing reliance on non-renewable energy sources.

North Carolina’s Role in United Therapeutics’ Net-Zero Endeavors

United Therapeutics worked with the city and county of Durham, as well as local electric utility Duke Energy. The new center integrates advanced technologies to ensure sustainable pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution.

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