(CORRECTED) SALINAS, Calif. – Taylor Farms" retail division has activated an $8 million clean energy system at its Salinas salad plant.
It"s expected to meet 70% of the company"s power needs using an alternative energy source.
The system, from Sunnyvale-based Bloom Energy, is comprised of five new 200-kilowatt energy servers. It uses a fuel cell technology, converting fuel into electricity without the combustion required by a conventional electrical generator.
"This innovative clean energy system allows us to continue exploring ways to reduce our impact on the environment and moves us much closer to our specific goal of taking this Salinas production facility off the electrical grid," Bruce Taylor, Taylor Farms chief executive officer, said in a news release.
The retail division"s 85,000-square feet of salad and processing lines were constructed in 2010. Mark Campion, president of Taylor Farms retail, called it the most advanced salad processing plant in the U.S.
"We are making it the most energy efficient as well," Campion said in the release.
The servers generate power 24 hours a day, seven days weekly.
Each server is expected to produce more than 1.75 million kilowatt hours annually, enough to power about 160 average U.S. homes.
The system cuts carbon dioxide emissions by almost 30%, according to Taylor Farms, and nearly eliminates nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions. It produces electricity using nearly no water – close to 100% less than an average power plant.
"We are committed to leading the industry in innovation with exciting new products and services, food safety breakthroughs and new systems to enhance sustainability," Campion said.
Taylor Farms also has a foodservice processing plant, and operates about 600,000 square feet of commercial space in Salinas.
Note on correction: The original story misstated server capacity.