Superior Farms, the nation’s largest lamb producer, today unveiled its first onsite large-scale wind turbine at the company’s Dixon processing facility. It is scheduled to be operational by the beginning of the new year, and expected to offset about 50% of the company’s total energy use at that location.
A 1 MegaWatt Mitsubishi wind turbine is erected at the Superior Farms Lamb processing facility in Dixon, California by Foundation Windpower. The green energy turbine will offset 50% of the facility’s energy needs each year. (Photo: Business Wire)
The new wind turbine provides roughly one megawatt of power with a tower 55 meters high and a blade diameter of 61.4 meters, resulting in height of approximately 280 feet to the tip of the blade at its highest point. The unit is projected to produce 2,200,000 kilowatt hours annually. Over the 20-year term of the Power Purchase Agreement the project will contribute to energy expense savings as well as provide price certainty for the electricity produced.
“We are one of the first companies to install a turbine like this – and certainly the first lamb company in the United States,” said Ed Jenks, CEO for Superior Farms. “We are committed at every facet of our business to sustainability. The entire company is proud that we are making this statement of environmental stewardship.”
Under the PPA arrangement, California-based Foundation Windpower installs, owns and operates the wind turbine and Superior Farms purchases the power produced. The endeavor is the equivalent carbon offset to removing approximately 800 cars from the road and is the equivalent to powering more than approximately 250 average American homes.
Clark Peterson, Dixon’s Plant Engineer, first started talking to Foundation Windpower in 2011. A California wind survey named Dixon a “high wind area” with average winds 12-15 miles per hour. After discussions with several green companies, including solar opportunities, Peterson recommended the partnership with Foundation Windpower.
“I’ve been looking at ways to save energy since I got here because it affects our bottom line. A side benefit is the more energy we save the more green we are,” said Peterson. “We already had cardboard recycling in place, we’ve worked on lighting efficiencies and power factor correction that gets us better energy usage. We’ve eliminated some systems that were duplicated, streamlining some processes. I’m absolutely open to any new technologies that can help us save energy and go green in the process.”
“We are delighted to announce this partnership with Superior Farms. Our project is highly visible evidence that the largest lamb processor in the Western U.S. is also the most forward thinking on issues of sustainability and renewable energy,” said Matt Wilson, CEO of Foundation Windpower. “The food industry is increasingly focused on sustainability measures. For instance, Walmart, Safeway, Nestle Waters and Anheuser-Busch all recently commissioned distributed wind projects in California with Foundation Windpower. Indeed, reduced energy costs and improved sustainability scores are a compelling combination for the food processing industry nationwide,” he concluded.
Superior Farms plans a more formal “Ribbon Cutting” event and tour after the turbine is operational in 2013.
Foundation Windpower develops, finances, constructs, owns and operates utility-scale distributed wind projects on-site at large energy consumers to reduce energy costs while delivering 100% renewal electricity through long-term power purchase agreements. Their projects, totaling 22 MW at 11 sites, require no capital expense from customers. Customers include cement plants, mines, food processors, manufacturers, refrigerated warehouses, water treatment plants and data centers. Foundation Windpower has offices in Menlo Park and San Francisco, CA.