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Isla Frio’s cold storage facility, in Cidra on the island of Puerto Rico, was well prepared with a back-up generator and fully charged Thermal Energy Storage (TES) when Hurricane Fiona made landfall on Sunday, September 18th. The island was overwhelmed by historic amounts of rainfall, ranging from 6 to 20 inches, with some areas receiving over 3 feet of rain from the storm. As the days progressed, Hurricane Fiona strengthened and left the entire island without power. Fortunately, the resilient combination of TES and back up generation allowed Isla Frio to maintain their required safe temperatures throughout the storm – and for days longer than other facilities – by running the generator only during the day and turning it off at night to save diesel. In fact, diesel consumption was reduced by over 50% and extended the time the generator could run from 6 days to over 12 days. Chart 1 – Isla Frio’s Main Freezer Temperature from September 5 - 23 Source: Viking Cold Solutions’ Cold Chain PortalTM In Chart 1, the change to the temperature settings to a -10 Fahrenheit setpoint before the hurricane is clear on September the 10th. This provided fully charged Thermal Energy Storage to work intermittently with Isla Frio’s generator and allowed Isla Frio to maintain safe temperatures throughout the hurricane without products ever passing -5 degrees Fahrenheit – even without any power. Isla Frio kept their clients’ products safe and were immediately able to help feed the people of Puerto Rico during their time of need. As a trusted partner to dozens of Puerto Rico’s food storage and distribution businesses, Viking Cold Solutions was there before Hurricane Fiona, during the storm, and now to help the island recover by providing resilient, safe, and energy efficient temperature control technology. Chart 2 – Isla Frio’s Cooler & Freezer Temperatures from September 18 - 23 Source: Viking Cold Solutions’ Cold Chain PortalTM Isla Frio’s TES system maintained facility temperatures day after day, as pictured in Chart 2, even when there was no power available by providing supplemental refrigeration and intelligent control. The TES technology reduced temperature stratification and cut temperature fluctuations while absorbing and consolidating 50% to 85% of heat infiltration. Our 24/7 remote monitoring and notification service kept our clients at Isla Frio well informed about their facility during the storm and provided valuable data for effective decision making. As Hurricane Fiona churns its way past Bermuda, Viking Cold Solutions was already there working with our clients to again weather the storm. We’re relieved that our Puerto Rico clients are recovering quickly with our resilient technology and look forward to helping more businesses get through extreme weather and manage expensive, intermittent electricity. Whether it’s a hurricane, equipment failure, forest fires, or other natural or man-made disasters, Viking Cold Solutions’ resilient sustainability technology is there to help. For more information about how our TES technology can help your facility, click here.
Energy storage is a rapidly evolving technology and has been advancing to the forefront of the electrical industry, shifting the focus to the effective integration of renewable energy. Various international enterprises recognized the increasing value of energy storage and have created World Energy Storage Day to commemorate its significance. This global movement is celebrated on September 22nd every year by policy officials, associations, and industries working to promote and adopt energy storage, e-mobility, and green technology for a more sustainable future. According to the Energy Storage Association, energy storage is an enabling technology; it saves consumers money, improves reliability and resilience, integrates generation sources, and helps reduce environmental impacts. It’s a key element for the entire grid, augmenting resources from wind, solar, and hydropower as well as nuclear and fossil fuels, demand-side resources, and system efficiency assets. By tapping into energy storage during outages, businesses can continue normal operations and avoid costly disruptions. When demand shifts and baseload resources can’t react quickly enough, energy storage can inject or extract energy to match the load as needed, making the grid more responsive and reducing the need to build backup power plants. The effectiveness of energy storage is based on its ability to respond quickly to changes in demand, the rate at which energy is lost during the storage process, the total amount of energy it can store, and the speed at which it can be recharged. More than 90% of global grid battery storage is dominated by lithium-ion batteries, which are today's most widely used battery storage alternative, reports the Environmental and Energy Study Institute. However, there are multiple types of energy storage that can provide large-storage capacities, such as pumped hydro, compressed air, and thermal. With the rapid development of energy storage, business owners and policymakers are looking towards more environmentally friendly sources of energy storage beyond lithium-ion batteries. According to Precedence Research, the global energy storage systems market size is projected to surpass $435 billion by 2030 and grow at a CAGR of over 8% from 2022 to 2030. Record investments in energy storage are being fueled by declining costs and new incentives. As reported by the Environmental Defense Fund, costs for energy storage have declined by 74% since 2013 and are projected to decline 8% per year through the mid 2020s. In fact, the cost of some storage has decreased so quickly that many utilities are switching to renewable energy combined with storage instead of investing in expensive new natural gas power plants. Over the next ten years, combining energy storage with renewable energy sources could completely change the way we purchase, sell, and utilize energy. State and Federal laws, such as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, are also opening new market opportunities and revenue streams, which will be the primary driver of growth outside of cost. Incentives can bridge market gaps and assist in further market adoption. In the U.S., certain industries such as cold storage, consume over $50 billion in energy annually. Refrigeration energy cost is one of the top operating expenses which drives demand from operators for energy reduction technologies. These businesses include over 4,200 cold storage warehouses, more than 40,000 grocery store freezers, and over 620,000 restaurant freezers. To help these businesses, Viking Cold Solutions developed and commercialized thermal energy storage technologies that offer both sustainability benefits and deliver proven 20% to 35% energy savings in temperature-controlled environments. With the growing concern over the prices of fossil fuels, their environmental impacts, and the capacity and resilience of energy grids around the world, stakeholders are increasingly turning their attention to energy storage solutions. To learn about how thermal energy storage technology reduces energy use and carbon emissions while increasing resiliency, click here.
The clean energy landscape dramatically shifted due to the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 on August 16th. This new law significantly increases the tax incentives available for energy transition initiatives and technology while removing many of the roadblocks that have hindered the United States’ shift to cleaner energy. Certain industries will see a major rise in financing due to these new regulations, which will alter how capital is managed and invested, tax credits are monetized, and clean energy projects are financed. $369 billion will be spent on climate and clean energy initiatives, including tax subsidies for electric and renewable vehicles, investments in U.S. production of sustainable technologies, and environmental justice. The Act also authorizes the Department of Energy to issue guarantees of up to $250 billion for clean energy projects. Norton Rose Fulbright notes that these fall under three types of energy infrastructure projects. One type is projects that retool, repower, reuse, or replace outdated energy infrastructure. Another is attempting to make energy infrastructure operational so that air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions can be avoided, reduced, used, or sequestered. The third type of projects consist of initiatives to repair environmental harm brought on by energy infrastructure. The Act is also extending the project eligibility to dedicated energy storage and geothermal energy. According to J.P. Morgan, solar and wind production have been down the last few years in part due to the uncertainty surrounding the renewable Investment Tax Credits (ITCs) and Production Tax Credits. However, with the Inflation Reduction Act, we can expect to see an increase in wind and solar production. Additionally, there will be a new standalone 30% investment tax credit for energy storage, particularly battery, pumped hydro, and thermal. Wood Mackenzie predicts that a 30% storage Investment Tax Credit would lead to a 20-25% rise in U.S. storage deployments over the next five years. Many analogies have been made to the solar business, where, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the Investment Tax Credit was one of the most important government policy tools for fostering industry growth. The solar industry has expanded by more than 10,000% since the ITCs implementation in 2006. The Inflation Reduction Act further offers long-term tax credit incentives for a wide range of renewable energy technologies. These incentives represent a considerable improvement over the current energy tax credit programs, which were only applicable to a restricted number of technologies and have been the subject of continuous phase-out and extension cycles during the past two decades. With the guarantee of a long-term and steady tax credit through at least the next ten years, the majority of clean energy technologies, such as wind, solar, biomass, thermal, and carbon capture, are now more financially viable. A variety of innovative energy transition technologies that had not previously qualified for tax credits are now eligible for subsidies under the Act, including energy storage projects, clean energy manufacturing facilities, hydrogen projects that adhere to minimum carbon emission standards, biogas production facilities, and current nuclear power plants. With new incentives for energy storage, companies such as ours can more cost effectively deploy energy saving technologies to more clients and industries. The Inflation Reduction Act will open many doors for energy storage and those interested in temperature control and thermal energy management. With our Thermal Energy Storage, Viking Cold has developed the only proven, environmentally friendly way to store renewable energy in the refrigerated and temperature-control industries. We look forward to using the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act to help businesses to be more efficient and reduce their carbon footprint while lowering their energy costs up to 50%. Whatever its other impacts, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is the broadest ranging legislation to address sustainability and decarbonization of the energy sector in our lifetime. To read the Inflation Reduction Act in full, click here. For more information on how thermal energy storage can help manage refrigeration energy costs, click here.