Monday, July 26, 2010

General Mills Completes Massachusetts Solar Installation

General Mills, the world’s sixth-largest food company, began its environmentally responsible business practices in 2009 when the company began harnessing wind power to run its facility in San Adrian, Spain. Wind power now accounts for one-third of the facility’s annual energy use.

On Friday, General Mills announced the completion of the first renewable energy installation sited at one of its U.S.-based plants. The General Mills facility in Methuen, Massachusetts recently completed a solar installation that is expected to supply almost 80 percent of the facility’s summertime electricity needs — and 40 percent of its needs the rest of the year.

On average, the system will produce 55 percent of the facility’s annual energy needs, producing as many as 110,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually and avoiding 112,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

General Mills is only beginning to use new energy-efficient technologies at various locations. The company is currently working on a biomass burner for its oat-milling facility in Fridley, Minnesota. By burning left over oat hulls, the system may generate up to 90 percent of the energy needed to heat the plant and produce oat flour.


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