Environment & Safety

Agri-Industrial Plastics is molding a powerful future by leading as Iowa’s first advanced manufacturing company powered by solar energy and Tesla Powerpack.

Environmental Impact

We’re cutting our carbon emissions by 10,298 tons of CO2 with solar energy and Tesla batteries.

That’s equivalent to:

264054
Planted Trees
11061224
Coal Burned
1417
Homes Powered, for a Year

Agri-Industrial Plastics is the first advanced manufacturing operation in Iowa to use solar energy and Tesla Powerpack to reduce peak demand, the most expensive portion of a large electric user’s utility bill.

We’re proud to be leading the way in energy solutions for Iowa’s industry.

Solar Project Specifics

Agri-Industrial Plastics Company’s power plant features a 517 kW roof-mounted solar array that works in tandem with a 212 kW Tesla Powerwall battery energy storage system. During the day, the solar panels generate energy which charges the Powerwall and powers the company’s advanced manufacturing operations. The battery system runs on an artificially-intelligent control system to automatically discharge at times of high energy usage, (or peak demand) to avoid or reduce costly demand charges.

This power plant gives Agri-Industrial Plastics Company greater control, efficiency and reliability in managing expensive electrical peaks. With 6,000+ manufacturing businesses in Iowa representing more than 18% of the state’s GPD, our project is setting the example for how the manufacturing industry can control energy costs and increase sustainable business practices with advanced energy technology.

1) Advanced Manufacturing Operations

Agri-Industrial Plastics Company is a leading custom industrial blow molder. The company designs, manufactures, and assembles EPA-compliant, multi-layer fuel tanks and other critical components for non-automotive industries. Agri runs 27 production lines 24 hours per day, 5 days a week, with heavy energy usage.

2) Solar Array

The solar array is a 517 kW DC (400 kW AC) roof-mounted installation. The array produces enough energy to offset 4-5% of the annual energy usage. Although this is a small portion of the company’s overall power needs, the combined solar and battery systems reduce our monthly peak load by an average of 6%.

3) Tesla Powerpack

Tesla Powerpacks house the world’s most sophisticated lithium-ion batteries. Each Powerpack is a DC energy storage device containing 16 individual battery pods, a thermal control system and hundreds of sensors that monitor and report on cell-level performance. Our installation features two Powerpack units with a central control system.

4) Communications & Control

The system is controlled by a central, intelligent software designed to effectively manage power and energy flow, while balancing demand needs and maximizing economic benefit for AIP. Opticaster, Tesla’s load generation forecasting software, taps into Tesla’s portfolio of well over one gigawatt-hours of on-grid projects to help predict and optimize system performance.

Opticaster will use data from these projects to provide the initial algorithm to control the batteries. As AIP’s energy storage system gathers more data on its own performance and AIP’s load profile over time, it will use that data to further refine the algorithm.

Raw Material Scrap Recovery

The blow molding process is most efficient when excess mold flash can be recovered and used in production.  Each molding machine in our facility has a dedicated grinder that is part of a closed loop system, ensuring material recovery is carefully monitored and controlled.  Scrap materials not suitable for production are retained and offered to material recycling brokers, dramatically limiting our use of landfill.

A Focus on Worker Safety

During our Safety Committee Meetings, volunteer participants discuss safety issues or concerns, and focus on preventative measures and corrective actions, especially when injuries result in lost time accidents.  We’re all in this together so active participation across the organization is highly encouraged.

Our ongoing training for machine operators, setup technicians, fork truck operators and process technicians ensures that our employees maintain the skill set and knowledge to work safely and efficiently in our ever-changing work environment.

Ready to work with us? Request a Quote.