Case Study

Biotech Manufacturer

Building a Custom Energy Solution for Reliability and Scale for Biotech Manufacturing
Manufacturing highly sensitive products requires precise and consistent operations. Recognizing the importance of reliable energy infrastructure, this multinational biotechnology company specializing in the discovery, development and delivery of disease treatment therapies turned to DESS to design a custom backup generation system to protect and grow its operations.
The below project was performed by Duke Energy’s Business Energy Services team. Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions leverages these specialists to deliver innovative solutions to customers.


The Challenge

After purchasing a previously owned production facility, this biotech company needed to modernize and install new production lines to bring its new lifesaving treatment therapy to market. Knowing that even just one moment of power interruption could result in significant production delays, the company urgently needed a backup power solution that provided the highest levels of resiliency possible. They considered designing and installing a backup solution itself but preferred to work with a trusted energy advisor that could assist them in every phase of this project. In doing so, this would allow them to focus their time and resources on the needs of their core business – and bringing a new critical, first-of-its-kind therapy to market.


The Solution

Working with this business, Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions (DESS) designed a customized on-site backup generation system that would better protect the company’s current operations – but would also be flexible enough to provide additional capacity for future expansions. DESS will own, maintain and operate the generator over the life of the contract – allowing the organization to focus its resources on its core business, avoid the potential downsides of ownership and take advantage of DESS’ extensive knowledge and experience.

Additionally, this biotech company was able to shift the backup generator from a capital expenditure to an operating expense – a move that allowed it to save money upfront while also providing price predictability that provided added protection against price inflations during the life of the contract.

Today, DESS and this business’s relationship continues as they collaborate on a planned medium-voltage generator farm – a project that is unique and specific to their growing reliability and infrastructure needs.


The Results

  • Collaborative relationship with an award-winning, trusted and reliable energy advisor
  • More reliable backup power, with capacity for future expansions and projects
  • Shifting of asset from capital expenditure to operating expense
  • Elimination of risks associated with owning and maintaining the generators


More Price Predictability. Less Risk.

After learning more about the biotech company’s current needs and its load profile, DESS proposed and installed a customized 7.5-MW Tier 2 resiliency system. Since then, the company has continued to work with DESS on a generator farm, which adds an additional 2.5-MW generator for a total capacity of 10 MW of backup power.

The new larger, medium-voltage generator farm and associated switchgear save space while also providing backup power for the company’s entire campus.

As a bonus, the generators are built to handle all of their current load – as well as any future load due to expansion.

Designed as an N+1 system, the generators have two utility feeds that provide redundancy. This means that if electric power is interrupted to one feed, the backup feed will continue running seamlessly, virtually eliminating any possible downtime.

In addition to designing, owning, operating and maintaining the system, DESS will provide 24/7 control and monitoring, giving the business peace of mind knowing its equipment is running in optimum condition.


Who We Are

Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions has been improving the quality, resiliency and efficiency of energy strategy for large commercial and industrial customers for over 25 years. Our expertise, contracting flexibility and variable risk sharing allow our clients to improve their mechanical and electrical infrastructure while delivering better business outcomes.

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We look forward to speaking with you about your backup power, energy resiliency and electrical infrastructure needs.