Hormel Foods joins community solar project - Smart Energy Decisions

Utilities, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  July 17, 2017

Hormel Foods joins community solar project

Dold Foods, a subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corp., recently partnered up in a community solar project to expand its renewable energy use at its Kansas facility.

The 1.2-MW installation of nearly 4,000 solar panels in South Hutchinson, Kan., will supply power to multiple customers in the area through a partnership Westar Energy and SoCore Energy. Dold Foods’ Wichita, Kan., facility will be receiving about 20% of the energy generated by the solar plant, according to a news release.

“Supporting renewable energy helps us achieve our company’s goal to reduce non-renewable energy use by 10% by 2020, and is also important to the Hormel Natural Choice bacon brand,” Joe Peine, Dold Foods plant manager, said in a statement. “We are proud to support the generation of clean, renewable energy through community solar. Community solar is beneficial to the air quality of our communities, helps to create jobs and provides for the local economy.”

The community solar plant will allow customers in the area to purchase solar electricity without installing a private system. The program allows individual homes or businesses to subscribe to receiving power from the facility at a fixed monthly price by committing to monthly amounts needed for the customer’s property in shares of 1-kW, according to the program website.

Community solar programs have been emerging in certain states as a viable option for corporations to increase their use of renewable energy without taking on their own projects.

In Minnesota, for example, companies including Macy’s, U.S. Bancorp, Land O'Lakes Inc. and Ecolab Inc. have signed subscription agreements for output from community solar facilities built by NRG Energy. Electricity generated at the Minnesota community solar farms will flow to the local utility's grid, and customers then receive a bill credit from their utility — Xcel Energy Inc. — for their subscribed share of the electricity produced by the community solar farm.

SoCore Energy is a unit of Edison International subsidiary Edison Energy.

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