Cargill has announced plans to install a solar energy system at its beef processing plant in Fresno, California.
The system – due to be installed by TEVA Energy – will be used to heat water at the plant, which already captures 30% of its natural gas requirements through anaerobic digestion in onsite water treatment ponds. The company said it had conducted “extensive analysis” with TEVA on the viability of the project and found it would have both financial and operational benefits, as well as benefits for the environment.
“The addition of solar energy to preheat boiler water complements our methane gas recovery and use, which reduces our dependence on natural gas by almost 30% and helps us move our Fresno beef processing facility closer to being truly sustainable through our incorporation of additional renewable energy sources,” said John Niemann, Cargill vice-president and general manager at Fresno.
Remo Eyal, CEO of TEVA Energy, said that MaxG G1 and G2 polymer-glazed collectors would be installed on the site, adding that the technology was the most efficient on the marketplace at the moment.
“To finance the project, TEVA and Skyline aggregate incentives with the income stream from the solar energy sold to Cargill at rates below their natural gas rates,” he added. “This is a win for everyone, especially the environment, and we’re thrilled to be involved.”
Cargill has invested a significant amount of money in ensuring its Fresno plant – which produces around 400 million pounds of beef products a year – is as environmetnally-friendly as possible.
“We are continuously exploring options and taking actions that reinforce our focus on environmental stewardship and resource conservation, while serving our customers and the consuming public, and being a good corporate neighbour,” said Niemann.