California-based contact lens manufacturer, Staar Surgical, is set to reduce operational costs and improve the reliability of its operations with the installation of a rooftop solar microgrid. The 1.1 MW grid-tied microgrid, located at Staar Surgical’s production facility in Lake Forest, California, is expected to save the company $325,000 in annual electricity bills while providing energy resilience during grid outages.
The microgrid, designed, installed, and maintained by solar contractor ReVamp Energy, includes battery energy storage. It is powered by a 780 kW rooftop solar array coupled with SolarEdge DC-optimized inverters, with additional capacity installed on two newly-constructed carports. The 1,752 module system is projected to cut Staar Surgical’s electricity costs by about 50%.
One of the key benefits of the microgrid is its ability to prevent losses incurred by spoiled production runs. Manufacturing contact lenses requires continuous heating in an industrial kiln for several days, and any power interruption can ruin an entire production run, resulting in significant financial losses. With the microgrid in place, Staar Surgical can ensure uninterrupted power supply and avoid such costly disruptions.
To store excess solar production, the microgrid includes a 450 kW battery that can provide backup power for up to 24 hours, depending on the facility’s load requirements. Additionally, a generator is included to further support production continuity.
ReVamp Energy has designed custom-made switchgear that automatically switches the site’s energy supply to backup power in the event of a power outage. The microgrid is managed through the SolarEdge monitoring platform, allowing Staar Surgical and ReVamp Energy to track key parameters such as solar energy production, consumption, and battery energy levels in real-time and from a single platform.
Jay Cutting, president of ReVamp Energy, expressed confidence in the project, stating, “We have worked with Staar Surgical on several solar installations, and for each one, we have used SolarEdge technology – it is a key component of realizing the client’s requirement for high energy production, reliability, and intelligent control.”
The installation of the solar microgrid demonstrates Staar Surgical’s commitment to sustainability and cost-efficiency. By harnessing solar energy and implementing energy storage solutions, the company is taking significant steps towards a greener and more resilient future.