Hormel Foods and IGS Solar have started construction on a solar energy project at the Hormel Foods Swiss American Sausage Company facility in Lathrop, California. The project is slated for completion in July.
IGS will partner with PCI Solar who will install the solar system, which will consist of 1,998 panels constructed on both roof and ground space. The project is projected to generate roughly 1.2 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year — enough to supply more than 15% of the facility's annual electricity consumption.
The new solar array will help the environment by offsetting an estimated 869 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year that would otherwise be emitted by a conventional fossil fuel power plant. That amount of emissions avoided is also equivalent to removing 185 cars from the road annually or avoiding burning 950,419 pounds of coal.
"We place great emphasis on minimising our environmental impacts when producing food for customers and consumers around the world," said Tom Raymond, director of environmental sustainability at Hormel Foods. "This project supports our environmental sustainability goals and is another example of the company's commitment and support of renewable energy."
IGS Solar will own, operate and maintain the array. The company is assisting Hormel Foods to integrate solar generation into its energy portfolio, while helping it better control the long-term energy costs for buildings.
In addition to this project, Hormel Foods also supports the renewable energy markets by subscribing to community solar gardens at five manufacturing locations, including a co-sponsorship with Westar Energy for its first community solar garden near Wichita, where the company manufactures most of its Hormel Natural Choice bacon products. The company also recently announced a virtual power purchase agreement for wind energy.