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Making the Shift to Solar, Renewable Energy

Cleanspark achieved government acceptance of its solar plus storage microgrid at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Research has linked the constant use of fossil fuels to substantially damaging air and water conditions, public health, wildlife and increasing global warming emissions as the constant emission of carbon dioxide adds onto greenhouse effect, which ultimately affects the temperature of the Earth. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also highlighted that greenhouse gases emitted from human activities are the most significant driver of observed climate change since the mid-20th century.

Currently, electricity generation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., followed by transportation, and as a result, many governments worldwide are launching initiatives to combat this growing concern. Numerous countries already launched plans to switch to clean energy in order to mitigate the worsening consequences of carbon dioxide emissions. Primarily, most of these nations are preparing and establishing clean energy plants to harness naturally occurring energy from elements such as solar, wind and hydro. However, due to the limited geographic occurrence of wind and hydro, most are moving toward adopting solar energy.

Solar energy is power collected from the sun and then converted into thermal or electric energy, according to Solar Energy Industries Association. The association claims that solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant source of renewable energy available as solar technologies can harness power derived from the sun and store it within energy storage solutions. Consumers can use solar for various applications such as generating electricity, providing light or heating water. There are three main ways to harness solar energy: photovoltaics (PV), solar heating and cooling and concentrating solar power.

Cleanspark, Inc. recently announced that it has achieved government acceptance of its solar plus storage microgrid located at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, located in San Diego, Calif., County.

Camp Pendleton is the major West Coast base of the United States Marine Corps and is one of the largest Marine Corps bases in the U.S. The Communications Information Systems (C.I.S.) Operations Complex includes a data center, headquarters facility, maintenance and supply warehouse and related communications infrastructure. The complete project receives backup power from UPS and traditional standby generators provided by other contractors. A subset of the critical loads are served by CleanSpark's solar plus storage microgrid offering perpetual off-grid 100 percent renewable driven energy security through an all iron flow battery coupled with solar photovoltaic generation located on both carport shade structures and the buildings' roofs. CleanSpark was responsible for the optimization, design, engineering and deployment of the solar plus storage microgrid, which shows grid as backup can be a reality.

CleanSpark is in the process of evaluating several solar plus storage microgrid projects for defense, municipal, commercial and industrial use cases to provide benefits including energy savings, energy security and sustainability. Recently, CleanSpark secured $20 million in financing to support Energy Savings Agreements on similar projects. 

The C.I.S. Operations Complex has deployed a 100 percent renewable critical power microgrid to support critical loads and unlock various benefits including:

  • Eliminate expensive UPS and standby generation systems.
  • Make distributed resources available in normal operation in lieu of standby systems.
  • Provide perpetual renewable driven energy security.
  • Improve power quality to sensitive equipment.
  • Reduce both first cost and operational expenses.

"There have been quite a few technology achievements on this project, but what excites me the most is the functional outcome,” said Anthony Vastola, senior vice president of projects for CleanSpark, in a statement. “This is a hybrid Zero Net Energy facility incorporating both off-grid and grid connected renewable generation that work together to support project economics while also providing energy security. With strong system modelling, innovative engineering expertise and effective microgrid control, we believe economics and energy security should go together."

The first project to receive CleanSpark's latest mPulse DER Energy Manager, operational intelligence is colocated with the microgrid offering resilient communications disconnected operation and increased cyber-security leveraging its hybrid-cloud configuration. The onsite generation solution includes separating the building loads so that the priority loads are on the islanded system and non-priority loads are served from the utility with each renewable asset interacting with the grid based on mode of operation.

“This new project builds upon our previous successes at Camp Pendleton including the Critical Power Fractal Grid commissioned in 2014 in partnership with the California Energy Commission,” said Matthew Schultz, CleanSpark CEO, in a statement. “CleanSpark answered the call to deploy our innovative system and is honored to support the mission of our brave service members while continuing to build value for our shareholders.'"

Additionally, Cleanspark, Inc. announced that it has released a production version of its Microgrid Value Stream Optimizer (mVSO). This proprietary technology combines high-level analytics of multiple PV arrangements and storage solutions to help customers save substantial amounts of money on their utility costs. CleanSpark's monitoring and control platform, mPulse, uses patented forecasting and real-time optimization logic to effectively translate the Microgrid solution configured through mVSO into long-term and effective operation of an installed Microgrid.

“The foundation of this mVSO platform is CleanSpark's industry-leading experience and deep understanding of Microgrid operations and the utility environment, including rates and incentive programs,” said Schultz. “Rather than rely on a black box algorithm coupled with a spreadsheet of projected savings, our mVSO displays in great detail how real savings can be achieved, down to 15-minute intervals. Customers only need to provide CleanSpark with a year's worth of utility interval data for our mVSO to begin its calculations. In some cases, an overall cost reduction of up to 90 percent can be achieved. CleanSpark's software follows an optimization path from Microgrid sizing and design all the way through to real-time operation, so customers can feel confident in the accuracy of the projected revenue and savings."

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