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QCD, Scale Microgrid Solutions and InCharge Energy Collaborate on $20M Fleet Electrification Project

May 9, 2022

The Project Includes An Industry-First Renewable Energy Microgrid

Quality Custom Distribution (QCD), a division of Golden State Foods, has partnered with Scale Microgrid Solutions and InCharge Energy to electrify its Southern California fleet based in La Puente. This $20 million electrification project – which includes the purchase of 30 zero-tailpipe emission Volvo VNR Electric trucks, 16 chargers and a renewable energy microgrid to power the chargers – is funded in part by grants and incentives from HVIP, MSRC and the Last Mile Freight Program (LMFP). This specific QCD fleet serves thousands of iconic restaurant chains in the region, including a global coffeehouse brand.

QCD has demonstrated its commitment to electrification with its total order of 45 Volvo VNR Electric trucks. As one of the first distributors to bring the Volvo VNR Electric truck to California, QCD earned the recognition of Heavy Duty Trucking as one of the top 30 Green Fleets leading the way in sustainability in the U.S.

For the La Puente site’s transition to an electric fleet, a first-of-its-kind clean energy microgrid will be engineered and installed to power the site’s new EV charging infrastructure as well as its normal business operations. Developed by Scale Microgrid Solutions, the microgrid for QCD’s charging infrastructure will include features such as: 

– A combined 1,200kW of rooftop solar, 250kW of carport solar, 3 megawatt hours (MWh) of battery storage, and 1,500 kilowatts (kW) of backup generation. 

– A modular design approach using pre-engineered components, which accelerates the project construction and installation process, minimizes interruption to QCD fleet operations and makes it easy and affordable to scale as more EVs are added to QCD’s fleet.

A microgrid allows QCD to electrify its fleet more quickly and cost-efficiently than a utility upgrade, which can take upwards of two years to initiate in Southern California. Additionally, this system enables QCD to reduce their energy costs, guarantees power availability for fleet charging and minimizes the site’s downtime and environmental footprint in the event of a power outage. 

InCharge Energy will engineer, commission and install the charging infrastructure to power the electric fleet. The current plans include installation of 16 ICE-180 chargers – 180 kW DC Fast Chargers that can charge two Volvo VNR Electric trucks simultaneously in about two hours These chargers also feature an efficient scalable architecture, allowing for an output of 60, 120 or 180 kW of power depending on the site’s evolving needs.

QCD, Scale Microgrid Solutions and InCharge Energy have begun development on the project,  with the microgrid being installed in parallel with the EV charging infrastructure. The entire project will be completed in 2023. 

QCD
QCD’s long-term commitment to sustainability and our customers’ success depends upon reliable clean energy infrastructure like the on-site microgrid we’re building at our Los Angeles distribution center,” said Shane Blanchette, Senior Director, Operations, QCD. “As we pursue emissions reduction initiatives, our partnership with Scale Microgrid Solutions and In-Charge Energy will enable QCD to leverage emerging technologies in clean energy to resiliently power our growing battery-electric truck fleet and our logistics operations that currently supports more than 7,500 U.S. quick service restaurants.”

Scale Microgrid Solutions
“As fleets electrify, the transportation sector is merging into the electricity sector. A holistic energy solution, like the microgrid for QCD, allows fleets to continue their operations while reducing the risk of fuel (electricity) supply issues associated with utility power. We’re thrilled to offer QCD a system that will not only reduce fuel (electricity) costs, fortify their trucking operations and lower their carbon footprint, but will also allow their fleet to transition to zero-emissions cost effectively over time,” says Tim Hade, Co-Founder and COO of Scale Microgrid Solutions.

InCharge Energy
“This project is a prime example of how collaboration and expertise across disciplines can accelerate fleet electrification. Between QCD’s telematics data, Scale’s flexible design strategy and our team’s laser-focus on reliable infrastructure, we were able to develop a solution that reduces local toxic pollution from diesel particulates, eliminates climate pollution, improves fleet operations and reduces costs, especially with the support of the grants and incentives we secured from Southern California Associated Governments. We can’t wait to build this truly innovative and industry-leading model of sustainable fleet transportation,” said Terry O’Day, COO of InCharge Energy.

For more information about each partner, please visit their websites.

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