GROWING A SOLAR HARVEST: MONTEREY COUNTY’S LARGEST SOLAR PROJECT GETS BIGGER
This week, CalCom announced an exciting addition to Monterey County’s largest privately owned solar project for D’Arrigo Bros. of California, a premier grower, packer and shipper of quality fruits and vegetables based in Salinas. D’Arrigo is adding another 1.1 megawatts (MW) to the project to their Gonzales site, bringing the company’s total solar capacity to 3.3 MW.
A fourth phase adding another 2.2 MW of solar power is expected to come online in the 1st half of 2018, and when CalCom Solar completes the project, a grand total of 5.5 MW will power D’Arrigo’s substantial cold storage and fruit processing operations.
D’Arrigo has made a commitment to sustainability that includes increasing amounts of renewable energy, said John D’Arrigo, President/CEO and Chairman of the Board of D’Arrigo Bros. of California.
“We’ve always championed sustainability as a core business practice and it is gratifying to see the fruits of our labor to operate our business on clean energy. We run on solar not only because of its sustainability benefits, which are significant, but because solar energy is fundamentally a smart business decision,” said D’Arrigo.
In addition to significant financial savings, the supplemental 1.1 MW will also help reduce CO2 emissions. Over 25 years, the system will offset carbon emissions equivalent to removing 8,750 cars from the road and 132 million pounds of coal burned. The solar power will directly generate energy to reduce 14 ranch meters within a 1.25-mile radius.
Distributors of the popular Andy Boy brand of Broccoli Rabe, D’Arrigo Bros were one of the first farms to ship fresh fruits and vegetables from California to New York. The solar PV system they’ve built over the past few years is yet another demonstration of their leadership in an industry where freshness is paramount and energy costs are at an all-time high.
CalCom Solar works with agricultural operators throughout California to reduce their energy costs through solar PV installations that optimize available land and rooftops. Though a Power Purchase Agreement, an agribusiness can go solar with little to no upfront costs, drastically reducing their cost of energy. Growers who wish to purchase the solar equipment outright can benefit from a 30% federal tax credit.