WATSONVILLE, CALIF. — As one of the company’s early steps to pursuing clean and alternative energy sources, Driscoll’s has installed 3,384 solar panels on its 155,000 square-foot cooling facilities in Santa Maria, Calif. The panels are estimated to generate 1.4 million kilowatt-hours of power annually.
Berries are delicate and perishable fruit that must be kept in controlled temperatures as much as possible, requiring significant energy consumption. Driscoll’s decision to transform its Santa Maria facility to clean energy is a continuation of its 50-year commitment to the community, employees and local grower network.
Driscoll’s also installed a battery storage system that can hold up to 700 kilowatt-hours. Together, both systems will allow the company to offset about 92% of the facility’s energy usage, generating a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing more than 7,750 cars from the road over the course of 25 years.
“The solar installation in Santa Maria is the first of several planned energy investments,” said J. Miles Reiter, Driscoll’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We view this inaugural installation as a commitment to Santa Maria, our employees, and our local growers. It’s an investment in our future by having clean technology to support our local operations.”