Going nuts for solar
A US nut processing company that exports to over 30 markets around the world has enthusiastically embraced solar energy to fuel its operations on the fertile grounds of California’s Central Valley.
And the business' for solar is based on a lot more than its power generation capability. Setton Pistachio, the 2nd largest pistachio processor in the United States, harvests both environmental and fiscal savings with its 1.7 MW system, the largest in California’s Central Valley.
Going solar was a two-fold decision for Setton - the significant amount of energy they required for their agricultural operations and the company’s commitment to sustainability. They chose Canadian Solar products, and Cenergy Power to design and implement the solution because it has extensive experience in the agricultural sector. “Our decision to go solar with Canadian Solar and Cenergy was made simple by their outstanding track records, reputation for quality, and power quality capabilities,” said Lee Cohen, General Manager, Setton Farms.
"We are a family business and the decisions we make have to be good for customers and our growers, partners and suppliers. This project was an obvious next step in practicing what we preach about our dedication to the valley's environment and sustainable business practices," added Cohen.
In total 7,600 Canadian Solar CS6P-P modules deployed in the project. Together they provide a 1.7 megawatt solar plant that produces over 2.6 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean renewable energy per year - to sort, roast, and package millions of pounds of pistachios in Setton’s 300,000 square foot processing facilities.
“Canadian Solar modules provide our customers with many benefits including higher than average PTC ratings, excellent workmanship, and reliability. Their modules consistently provide high efficiency when kilowatt hours are measured with respect to production numbers,” said Andrew B. Goldin, VP of Field Operations, Cenergy Power. The solar installation will reduce Setton Pistachio’s monthly energy bills along with their carbon footprint. It will continue to generate renewable energy for its owners for decades to come, stabilizing their energy budget, and creating security for their future power needs.
And, as an added advantage, the project costs were offset by federal and local incentives lowering the initial investment and establishing a payback period of 4 short years. It is also estimated that the installation will generate $14 million in energy savings over 25 years. Of course, it was great for the environment too. Potential CO2 production avoided as a result of this installation is approximately 1,880 metric tons, which is equivalent to planting 400 acres of pine forest annually.
Realtime monitoring for Setton's solar system is available here.
In addition to the above project, Canadian Solar also partnered with Cenergy in delivering a 540 kW PV System to a San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Facility.
Minturn Huller, an almond huller and sheller cooperative in Chowchilla, California serves more than 260 almond growers in the valley and runs almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from mid-August to November. Their PV system has 2,702 Canadian Solar CS6P-200PE eModules, which saves the facilities and estimated 20% off their annual electric bill - savings of approximately $40,000 per year.
"Our decision to go with Canadian Solar was driven by the quality and value of their products along with the outstanding service and support of their team," said Andrew B. Goldin of Cenergy.