Cogenra Solar, a provider of distributed solar cogeneration systems, announced its first dairy solar cogeneration system at the Clover Stornetta Farms Dairy Processing Plant in Petaluma CA.
The solar cogeneration system is the company’s latest renewable energy initiative and will not only reduce Clover’s greenhouse gas emissions, but will also result in more than 50% energy savings at the plant.
As a contributor to US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—accounting for about 2% of all emissions—the dairy industry is taking steps to reduce its environmental impact. Part of these efforts includes a voluntary commitment to reduce GHG emissions of fluid milk by 25% by 2020.
Cogenra’s solar cogeneration installation combines solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation with solar hot water (SHW) production. The installation will decrease Clover’s GHG emissions by 32 metric tons each year, equivalent to removing 3,500 gallons of gasoline and saving 800 trees annually.
The rooftop array was completed by Cogenra and OneSun, a provider of solar PV and solar thermal installations, in a few weeks. It now takes up less than 1,500 square feet atop Clover’s Dairy Processing Plant. Commissioned in June 2012, the 50.6-kilowatt, 20-module solar cogeneration system provides renewable electricity and 6,000 gallons of SHW daily for the Clean-in-Place (CIP) process at the plant. The system offsets about 50% of the plant’s energy used for wastewater heating, displacing about 11,500 kilowatt-hours and 2,300 therms annually.
The solar cogeneration modules pre-heat water to 145° F for Clover’s steam-fed CIP process, during which wastewater is pumped continuously through three wastewater filters that are periodically backflushed with cold and hot water. The Cogenra system pre-heats the water, which is then injected with steam in order to reach the CIP temperatures required.
The array was integrated seamlessly into Clover’s existing natural gas water heaters and electrical equipment. Remote monitoring and diagnostics offer real-time status on the system’s energy performance.
Solar cogeneration provide greater GHG emission reductions: almost three times more than stand-alone photovoltaics and almost twice as much as solar hot water systems. The dual production of electricity and hot water also means companies see a payback of less than five years.
Visit www.cogenra.com for more information.