Austin-based meat manufacturer Hormel Foods Corp. announced Wednesday that it has completed a solar project at its Swiss American Sausage Company facility in Lathrop, California. The project involved the installation of about 2,000 solar panels on the facility’s roof and surrounding grounds.
The panels are expected to generate 1.2 million kilowatt hours per year, which would supply more than 15 percent of the plant’s annual electricity consumption, according to the company. This is expected to cut the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 288 metric tons per year—the equivalent of removing 61 cars from the road annually, Hormel officials said in a news release.
“As a global branded food company, we place great emphasis on minimizing our environmental impacts,” said Tom Raymond, Hormel’s director of environmental sustainability. “This project supports our environmental sustainability goals and is another example of our commitment and support of renewable energy.”
To carry out the solar project, Hormel teamed up with IGS Solar, an arm of Dublin-based energy company IGS Energy. For installation, Hormel enlisted additional help from Holt Renewables, a branch of San Antonio-based machine manufacturer Holt Cat.
IGS will own, operate, and maintain the panel array.
This arrangement is part of a broader agreement for IGS to help Hormel integrate solar generation into its energy portfolio, according to the release.
Hormel’s other sustainability initiatives to date include subscribing to community solar gardens at five manufacturing locations. In April, Hormel announced a purchase power agreement with Kinect Energy Group for an upcoming wind farm in Nebraska. Once that project is completed, Hormel’s nationwide operations will be powered by 50 percent renewable energy, according to the company.