A triangle of land is doing double duty at Cortez Hulling, which takes the hulls off almonds at a plant near Ballico. At ground level is a basin that captures heavy storm runoff directed away from the stockpiles of hulls, which are used mainly for dairy feed. On top are solar panels that provide 74 percent of the plant’s electricity. The solar system has cut conventional power costs by about $110,000 a year. “It keeps our Turlock Irrigation District bill low, and doesn’t get in the way of operations,” said David Thiel, general manager of the Cortez Growers Association, which owns the plant. Cummings said the installation cost was slightly higher than normal because of the need to put the panels on concrete supports above the basin, but it still penciled out.
Almond huller’s solar panels make efficient use of land
Almond Board |
Almonds from California are a healthy, natural, wholesome and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds with a research-based approach to responsible farming, production and marketing on behalf of the more than 7,600 almond growers and processors in California, many of whom have third- and fourth-generation family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit Almonds.com or check out California Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the California Almonds blog.