Bakersfield, Calif.-based Wm. Bolthouse Farms Inc.—known for their peeled "baby" carrots and carrot juice products—has completed a 1.9-megawatt solar energy system on fallow ground near Palmdale, Calif.
The system, installed at Bolthouse's S&P and Rowen Farms, is owned and operated by MMA Renewable Ventures of San Francisco, according to a news release.
The system features 10,300 solar panels that track the sun, making it up to 20 percent more efficient than a system with fixed panels.
"With four generations of farming experience, Bolthouse Farms has a long history of practicing responsible stewardship of our resources to ensure sustainability," says Bolthouse president Jeffrey Dunn. "We're excited to be able harness the sun to power our farming operations. We've got plenty of sunshine here in California; it's been vital to our agricultural success."
Bolthouse will purchase electricity generated from the solar panels under a long-term contract with MMA. As with other large-scale projects, MMA is able to take advantage of federal tax credits and other state incentives, making the system cost-effective for Bolthouse, says MMA chief executive officer Matt Cheney.
Regenesis Power LLC of Moorpark, Calif., installed the sytem's 10,300 solar tracking panels from Mitsubishi Electric.
The solar array was designed to provide nearly 80 percent of the electricity used to power Bolthouse's Palmdale operations at the farms. Any excess power will be fed into the power grid.
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