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Almond Industry Goes Nuts for Solar Power

Minturn Nut Company, a leading California almond processor, has installed solar power from Cenergy Power at its Le Grande warehouse.

A leading California almond processor, the Minturn Nut Company, has completed the installation of a 403 kW solar power system on its main warehouse facility in Le Grand, California.  The system was designed and installed by Cenergy Power, a specialist in agricultural solar applications.  California supplies all – that’s right, all – of the almonds grown in the U.S. and almost 80% of the world’s almond supply.  With Minturn handling more than 50 million pounds of almonds last year alone, it’s only a matter of time before other almond growers follow Minturn’s leap into sustainable energy.

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The Minturn Nut Company on the Rise

Minturn was formed in 1996 by a group of growers who dreamed of increasing the market for California almonds worldwide.  Since then the company has gained a reputation for high quality and technological innovation, and as one mark of its success in its latest newsletter the company reports that sales are up despite the slumping global economy.  The new solar installation gives Minturn’s home base of Le Grand its largest commercial project ever, generating more than 575,000 kwh annually.  Minturn expects the installation to provide over 90% of the electricty on the largest meter in its facility, and pay for itself within four years.

Cenergy Power

Cenergy Power was founded by a group of financial experts teaming with engineers to focus on cost-effectiveness and quality.  The company has a 30-year background in solar installations and turned to agricultural solar just last year as a market for potential growth.  Its first agricultural installation  was designed for the orchards on Ahoo Ranch, also in Le Grand.

Agricultural Solar

Minturn joins a number of other large California agricultural concerns in shifting to solar energy.  Just one notable examples is the fruit grower Limoneira which recently installed 1 MW of solar power to pump irrigation water from its wells.  Wine growers in Napa Valley are also rushing to incorporate solar energy into wine growing and wine making operations.

Image: Miansari66 on wikimedia commons.

 

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Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

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