New state investment will increase energy efficiency, improve air quality, and bring economic development opportunities to the City of Coachella
(Coachella, CA) – On Thursday, October 29, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), Imperial Western Products, and the City of Coachella held a check presentation ceremony to announce and celebrate a $2,117,678 grant from the California Energy Commission. This state grant will allow Imperial Western Products to construct a microgrid system to produce and store renewable electricity; building on the company’s industry record of environmental protection and conservation leadership. The project will provide increased energy reliability and local workforce development opportunities while reducing operating costs and GHG emissions at their Coachella facility.
“I am proud to congratulate Imperial Western Products on their over $2 million grant award and am grateful to the California Energy Commission for recognizing the immense value of this renewable energy and economic development project. Imperial Western Products is a prime example of the leadership our California companies must strive for as we work to achieve our environmental, public health, and especially now our economic recovery goals. Our success in securing this investment is a testament to the strong regional partnerships we have forged and builds on our concerted advocacy efforts to drive these dollars home to our district,” said Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia.
Trent Trawick, Chief Executive Officer of Imperial Western Products, stated, “We are very excited to work with the California Energy Commission, Assemblymember Garcia, and our local city government to bring this opportunity to the City of Coachella. The IWP Microgrid helps us continue our legacy of environmental stewardship. This project will result in the creation of 47 jobs, a reduction of 344 metric tons of CO2 per year, and help California achieve its Climate Investment goals.”
Imperial Western Products transforms materials such as agricultural organic byproducts, bakery byproducts, and used cooking oil into animal feed, preventing nearly 700,000 tons of organic material from entering landfills each year. In partnership with Gridscape and Planet Solar the installation of this cutting edge project will help Imperial Western Products’ Coachella facility to reduce its total grid energy usage by more than 35 percent, reducing its GHG emissions by over one-third. The microgrid will also increase reliability by allowing the facility to continue operations during a utility blackout.
"As a long time recipient and supporter of several CEC grants, we are extremely excited to be a microgrid technology and solution provider to IWP and help IWP with increased energy reliability and reduction of GHG emissions," says Vipul Gore, President and CEO of Gridscape Solutions.
“Planet Solar is a local solar contractor with 15 years’ experience and over 2,500 local solar projects. We are proud to be a part of this local microgrid project” says Kirk Weiss, Vice President of Planet Solar.
Vice Chair Janea Scott from the California Energy Commission states “Achieving California’s clean energy goals relies on innovative technologies and approaches in every sector. Imperial Western Products is leveraging funding from the California Energy Commission's (CEC) Food Production Investment Program (FPIP) to design, build, and operate a state of the art microgrid at their Coachella Valley facility to help understand and expand the role renewable energy microgrids in industrial settings. Through this and other projects, the CEC’s FPIP helps food producers accelerate the adoption of cutting-edge energy technologies and strategies to ensure California remains a leader in decarbonizing the economy.”
The California Energy Commission is leading the state to a 100 percent clean energy future. It has seven core responsibilities: developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, increasing energy efficiency, investing in energy innovation, advancing state energy policy, certifying thermal power plants, and preparing for energy emergencies. The California Energy Commission is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities.
This award marks the second grant the family owned company has received from the California Energy Commission. With the aid of their first grant in 2018, Imperial Western Products was able to upgrade their Coachella facility with more efficient boilers, motors, and compressors reducing their annual GHG emissions by an estimated 659.9 MTCO2e/ year. Combined with the new microgrid project, Imperial Western Products is on track to become one of the most energy efficient food production facilities in California.
“I applaud Imperial Western Products on the success of their California Energy Commission grant application. Over the years, this family-owned company has grown as a tremendous asset to the City, placing us in the industry spotlight through their innovative advancements and by providing quality jobs for our families. They share our vision for a healthier and more environmentally sustainable Coachella, and I am excited to see them work alongside Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia to bring additional state investments into our community,” said Mayor Steven Hernandez, City of Coachella.
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) serves as the chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife. He represents the 56th district, which comprises the cities and communities of Blythe, Brawley, Bermuda Dunes, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, Mecca, Oasis, North Shore, Salton Sea, Thermal, Thousand Palms, and Westmorland.
Imperial Western Products, established in Coachella, CA in 1966, has grown by leaps and bounds to become a very successful, broadly diversified corporation, always at the forefront of their industry having developed several major name brands such as Biotane Fuels, Biotane Pumping, Enforce Products, and Bakery Solutions. The company has focused its efforts on the diversification of their products and services, the recycling of byproducts and environmental friendliness, as well as a personal invested interest in their employees. Imperial Western Products is setting the industry standard for proactive environmental protection and conservation.
Gridscape is the largest developer of small to mid-sized renewable energy microgrid products and technology in California. It is focused on deploying state of the art Microgrid integrated with EV charging solutions aimed at reducing overall energy cost for a site and providing backup clean emergency power during PSPS or other power disruption events. The Gridscape microgrid system, proven in over 15 recent microgrid installations in California public and commercial facilities, has pioneered the product centric approach of a microgrid. Gridscape Microgrid BESS system (“Microgrid-in-a-box”) contains all the necessary hardware and software (EnergyScope) pre-assembled in an outdoor rated enclosure which makes it possible to install a larger number of microgrids in California in the near term.