Case Study

High-Performance Carbon Fiber Manufacturer

Designing and Managing a Custom Central Utility Plant for High-Performance Manufacturing
Manufacturing high-performance carbon fibers, polyester fibers and more means that operations rely heavily on energy assets to reduce downtime and optimize operational efficiency. This chemical, pharmaceutical and information technology company relied on DESS to deliver a high-quality central utility plant and resilient, reliable backup system to power its overall success.


The Challenge

As the chemical, pharmaceutical and information organization began construction on a new manufacturing facility, the company knew a high-quality central utility plant (CUP), reliable backup power and modernized electrical infrastructure system would be critical to preserving product quality and maintaining optimum operations. Initially, they considered owning, installing and maintaining the equipment itself. However, after reviewing total costs associated with ownership, the company determined an outsourced managed service solution would provide a better value.

The manufacturer needed a trusted, highly experienced energy advisor with a strong reputation to assist in every phase of this project – one that could take over the design, ownership and maintenance of a high-quality comprehensive energy project and deliver it on time.


The Solution

Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions (DESS) designed a customized CUP and energy distribution systems that would not only serve the plant’s current operational needs but also provide expansion capacity for future growth. DESS also installed a generator and an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system for additional backup generation as well as associated switchgear and electrical infrastructure for added resiliency and efficiency.

DESS will continue to own, maintain and operate the energy assets over the life of the contract. In doing so, this provides the company with the ability to focus its resources on its core business, avoid the potential downsides of ownership and take advantage of DESS’ extensive technical knowledge and energy experience.


The Results

  • Infrastructure that meets current resiliency and operational needs with future expansion capability
  • Shifting of assets from capital expenditures to operating expenses
  • Price predictability against inflation
  • Elimination of risks associated with owning and maintaining the energy assets


More Price Predictability. Less Risk.

Additionally, the organization was able to shift the projects from capital expenditures to operating expenses – a move that allowed the company to save on upfront costs and get price predictability through the life of the contract.

Its new backup generators, UPS, CUP and electrical infrastructure provide the company with essential services for maintaining product quality and operational success as well as added resiliency to back up critical loads.

Resiliency: Two 2,500-kW generators support the manufacturing facility with reliable backup power in the event of downtime. A 2,500-VA UPS bridges the power gap, helping to eliminate any momentary loss of power.

Energy Infrastructure: DESS installed associated switchgear and conductors as well as piping for natural gas, city water and industrial water systems at the manufacturing facility.

Central Utility Plant: Natural gas steam boilers and accompanying economizers address all heating needs for the campus while also capturing – and reducing – wasted heat. Additionally, high-quality compressed air systems help to optimize efficiency and meet performance demands while purified water systems help to improve operational and equipment efficiency.

As an added bonus, DESS will conduct 24/7 advanced control and monitoring for the energy assets, providing the manufacturing firm with peace of mind knowing that its assets will continue to run 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 25years. 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.