AUSTIN, MN — Hormel Foods Corporation and IGS Solar have announced the completion of the solar energy project at the Hormel Foods Swiss American Sausage Company facility in Lathrop, CA. The completion was celebrated at a Flip the Switch Event Dec. 10 at the manufacturing facility, which produces a variety of pepperoni and salami for foodservice pizza toppings.
IGS partnered with HOLT Renewables to install the solar array, which consists of approximately 2,000 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 percent of the plant's annual electricity consumption. The new solar array will help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 288 metric tons per year. That amount of emissions avoided is also equivalent to removing 61 cars from the road annually or avoiding burning over 314,000 pounds of coal.
"We are pleased to announce the completion of this project," said Tom Raymond, director of environmental sustainability at Hormel Foods. "As a global branded food company, we place great emphasis on minimizing our environmental impacts. This project supports our environmental sustainability goals and is another example of our commitment and support of renewable energy."
IGS and HOLT Renewables worked hand-in-hand with Hormel Foods to deliver this project that provides meaningful energy savings for the company. 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 the company better control the long-term energy costs for its buildings.
"We're thrilled that Hormel Foods has embraced solar energy to power its California operations, and we're proud of this partnership between two Midwest companies," said Brian Amicon, vice president of commercial solar for IGS. "This project shows the importance of energy sustainability and responsible use."
"This project highlights the foundation of our business in providing renewable energy solutions efficiently and in line with client expectations," said Craig Floyd, general manager at HOLT Renewables. "We applaud Hormel Foods in having the desire and ambition to bring renewable energy generation direct to their Lathrop, California, facility and allowing us the opportunity to lead the design and construction efforts on this project. Hormel Foods demonstrates their desire to be a leader in green initiatives and their support in realizing this project confirms this."
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, KS, 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. When the wind energy project is completed in 2020, the company will become powered by nearly 50 percent renewable energy.