United Therapeutics Launches Net Zero Energy Distribution Center - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Storage, Microgrids, Sourcing Renewables  -  June 20, 2023

United Therapeutics Launches Net Zero Energy Distribution Center

United Therapeutics Corporation, a pharmaceutical public benefit corporation, unveiled its second net-zero energy distribution center at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

The 55,000-square-foot facility is located on the company’s co-headquarters campus and is dubbed “Phase Five” as the fifth overall in the company's sustainability portfolio. It features a new warehouse designed to meet current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) for pharmaceutical products and includes a microgrid-based electrical system designed to run without any fossil fuels via battery backup using two Tesla Megapacks that provide 6.2 MWh of battery capacity. 

The net-zero energy distribution center includes a geothermal system consisting of 40 vertical bores that use core earth temperatures to regulate building systems and environmental conditions and is designed to add future capacity if needed.

A roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) system includes 1,200 PV panels with 560 kW peak output and 767 MWh of projected annual production and net metering with Duke Energy, the local electric utility. The PV system is connected to the project’s microgrid and can recharge the Tesla Megapack when the building's electrical system is disconnected from the utility, allowing the facility to operate for an extended period. This design does not call for a standby generator.

Smart building technology was used and includes lighting occupancy sensors in strategic locations, ENERGY STAR-certified office equipment, and regenerative charging lift trucks.

“As far as we are aware, this is the first cGMP warehouse designed to meet site net zero energy standards. Achieving this goal required extensive collaboration with the city and county of Durham and with our local electric utility, Duke Energy,” said United Therapeutics Chairperson and CEO Dr. Martine Rothblatt in a statement


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