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United States Cold Storage Case Study

How to support sustainability through Demand Response

Customer information

This United States Cold Storage case study is based on a project developed in Enel X North America.


United States Cold Storage

United States Cold Storage is a leading cold storage logistics company that aims to advance, innovate, and serve companies seeking the best service, facilities, and logistics in the cold chain industry. Originally founded in 1899, the company is headquartered in Camden, New Jersey, with 43 cold storage facilities located throughout the continental United States.

The need

15 years ago, when Mike Lynch, the Vice President of Engineering, began registering US ColdStorage facilities for demand response, he had a specific goal in mind. "Our big motivator was the opportunity to turn engineering—which has always been a cost center—into a profit center."


US Cold Storage, which uses a large amount of electricity, and Demand Response (DR) were the perfect combination.

The solution

"There were clear opportunities to earn revenue through participating in DR programs,” recalls Lynch. When he first explained the concept of demand response to facility managers, there was some hesitation. However, the managers quickly understood. “Selling demand response is easy because it helps a warehouse’s bottom line,” Lynch said. “In the beginning, it might have been a challenge because they didn’t quite understand it and the benefits—but when they saw the checks roll in they said, ‘How can I do more?’ They wanted to find out how they could maximize those benefits.”


Now, 15 years later, they are participating in seven Demand Response programs at more than 20 facilities across the United States.

The benefits

  1. Promotion of Sustainability
    US Cold Storage is a company that values sustainability and has set a current goal of achieving zero carbon by 2050. This commitment to sustainability is reflected in all aspects of their business, and Lynch says that they consider Demand Response within their sustainability program. “We tie Demand Response into our sustainability strategy. Anything we can do to reduce peak demand use has multiple benefits—there’s a financial benefit, but there’s also an environmental benefit by reducing our load during high peak times. Our interest in DR is multi-faceted—it encompasses both our sustainability efforts and our energy efforts.”

  2. Easy Response to Event
    When energy demand increases and Demand Response is called, necessitating a reduction in consumption, US Cold Storage primarily responds by optimizing the operation of its refrigeration facilities. According to Lynch, these facilities account for about 70% of the company’s energy consumption.  The temperature of the cold storage is constantly monitored, and because many frozen/refrigerated products are stored, the temperature inside the warehouse does not immediately drop even if the refrigeration is temporarily stopped. This is because the frozen/refrigerated products stabilize the temperature inside the refrigerator. In other words, temporarily stopping the refrigeration facilities has little impact on the quality of the products.

    In many of the US Cold Storage facilities participating in Demand Response, the process can be operated with the push of a button. When the Demand Response signal is received, the control system is programmed to respond to a specific reaction just by clicking a button. In the warehouse, it is possible to temporarily postpone defrosting or starting the compressor or to fine-tune the room temperature. All functions are programmed into the button, so they can respond immediately when they receive a demand response signal. This allows them to efficiently manage energy consumption while maintaining the quality of service.

  3. Substantial Rewards
    Lynch mentioned that US Cold Storage is about to reach a wonderful revenue milestone of one million dollars, and he expressed his gratitude for the role that Enel X has played in reaching this point. “Our relationship with Enel X has been great,” Lynch said. “Enel X has always been very responsive to our questions. They’ve served the account well over the years.”
Note: This United States Cold Storage case study is based on work with Enel X and data center in USA. In Japan, Enel X supports global and local customers to help them to save on energy costs, earn a new revenue stream and achieve carbon neutral targets with customized products and services. Contact us to learn more.