General Mills plant goes solar-powered

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 29th July 2010

General Mills has unveiled a new solar energy initiative at its facility in Methuen, Massacheusetts, designed to supply much of the warehouse’s power requirements via solar panels installed on the roof.

The panels will supply nearly 80% of the yoghurt manufacturing facility’s power in summer, and 40% of needs for the rest of the year – a total of 110.7 kilowatts, offsetting around 50,800kg of carbon annually – the equivalent of 12 households or 10 cars.

“The enthusiasm of the work force and the partnership with state and local government led the way for us to install the solar panels,” said Jon Russett, energy manager in General Mills’ Supply Chain operations. “General Mills is committed to continuously improving its environmental performance.”

General Mills’ San Adrian facility in Spain now receives all of its electricity, and one third of its overall energy, from renewable energy sources such as wind power. The company is also constructing a biomass burner at its US oat-milling facility in Fridley, Minnesota, that will burn leftover oat hulls from the milling process to produce about 90 percent of the steam needed to heat the plant and make oat flour.