Monday, July 26, 2010

Solar power to supply 80 percent of General Mills energy needs

General Mills yogurt facility in Methuen, MA has completed a solar retrofit that is expected to produce 80 percent of the warehouse's warm weather power needs. The Methuen plant is the company's first U.S. facility to produce its own electricity via solar energy.

"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."

The company's investment in renewable energy extends globally. A facility in Spain now receives all of its electricity and more than 30 percent of its overall energy needs from renewable energy sources - including wind power. Closer to home, General Mills is constructing a biomass burner at an oat-milling facility in Minnesota. Using leftover oat hulls from the milling process the burner is expected to generate 90 percent of the steam needed to heat the plant and make oat flour.

"As we continue to work on sustainability across our supply chain, we remain confident that the groundwork we've laid will continue to show even more progress in the future," said Russet.

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