Fifth Season, a Pittsburgh-based vertical farming startup, celebrated the full activation of its on-site microgrid at its indoor farming location in Braddock on Wednesday, September 21st.
Hundreds of solar panels scattered across the building's roof and a nearby natural gas generator are now capable of supplying 1,360 kilowatts of electricity at peak usage, which will be funneled into a 250-kilowatt battery that has the potential to keep the facility running for up to three full days in the event of a total blackout from a utility provider.
"It solves a few major issues that are very pertinent," Austin Lawrence, one of three co-founders of Fifth Season, said. "Really, what we operate here, in my opinion, is a life support system for leafy greens, and downtime is very critical to avoid for our operation. In the inevitable situation where we do lose power due to forces outside of our control, it's nice to know that we have on-site solutions available to us where we can keep on chugging along, keep the business operating, keep our product fresh and safe for consumption and keep the business running."
But that's not the only objective for the microgrid. Fifth Season is also looking forward to enjoying the benefits of shaving off its own electricity usage from a utility provider during peak times by tapping into the power generated from its on-site plant.
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