Clif Bar is slashing the carbon footprint of its Twin Falls, Idaho bakery with the installation of a 2 megawatt (MW) ground mounted solar farm that will be installed adjacent to the bakery. When completed next June, the new solar farm will supply 30% of the annual electricity needs of the 300,000 sq ft facility.
The solar farm will be comprised of ground mounted panels installed across 5 acres of the property that will generate more than 3 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year. Plans for the solar farm include an integrated pollinator habitat, which will allow the solar farm to contribute to the local biodiversity.
“At Clif, we treat energy like an ingredient and are committed to using green power to run our business,” said Elysa Hammond, director of environmental stewardship for Clif Bar & Company, the bakery’s parent company. “We’re excited to tap the power of Idaho sun and build a solar array that provides both environmental benefits and serves as an educational tool for the community.”
The bakery is also getting some carport-mounted solar panels over a portion of the parking lot that will provide shade from the sun during the summer and protection from the elements in the harsh Idaho winters. Electric vehicle charging stations will be installed in the parking lot alongside the solar system that will incentivize employees to drive electric cars, adding to the environmental benefits of the system.
The new solar system will be installed by Borrego Solar and is the largest behind-the-meter solar system in Idaho Power’s service area, which services customers in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon.
The new solar installation builds on the environmentally friendly design of the bakery, which was designed to be energy efficient from the outset. These principles manifested themselves in the form of on-demand conveyors, LED lighting, a reflective roof and a water source heat pump. These active features were augmented with extra windows, vaulted skylights, active solar tubes and large sliding doors that connect the interior with an outdoor events space.
These features result in a bakery that uses about 20% less energy than conventional bakeries and enables the bakery to operate with a lower carbon – and financial – footprint.