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California farm installs solar panels to increase efficiency

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Specializing in nuts and dried fruits, Primex Farms recently outfitted its headquarters with solar panels.
Specializing in nuts and dried fruits, Primex Farms recently outfitted its headquarters with solar panels.

Farmers are looking for ways to offset their rising energy costs and decrease their carbon footprint as energy prices continue to soar and the environment factors more heavily in governmental policy. Recently, a farm in California figured out how to do both.

Primex Farms, based in Wasco, California, installed a solar panel system on its shipping and manufacturing hub as it endeavors to reduce its energy bills. Specializing in nuts and dried fruits, Primex Farms commissioned Cenergy Power to install the system. The company anticipates that once the facility is fully operational, it will help to greatly decrease its energy expenditures.

Tiffany Weldin, quality systems director and plant manager for the farm, said that farm life will go on as usual, but that solar power will "provide a major portion of our energy usage annually." Weldin says that the system will produce enough electricity - 1.7 million kilowatt hours of energy a year - to cause a "substantial reduction" in energy bills. As an added bonus, because of state and federal tax subsidies, Weldin asserts that the facility "will pay for itself within three years."

Primex Farms is a leader in sustainable farming. Currently, their entire waste system uses recycled materials. Perhaps the next step for the company in its quest for lowering its energy bills is outfitting some John Deere tractors with solar panels. 

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