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Superior Farms installing wind turbine

Superior Farms installing wind turbine

Superior Farms has unveiled its first onsite large-scale wind turbine at the company’s Dixon CA processing facility. Scheduled to be operational by the beginning of 2013, it is expected to offset about 50% of the company’s total energy use at that location.

The new wind turbine provides roughly one megawatt of power with a tower 55 meters high and a blade diameter of 61.4 meters, resulting in height of about 280 feet to the tip of the blade at its highest point. The unit is projected to produce 2,200,000 kilowatt-hours annually. Over the 20-year term of the power purchase agreement (PPA), the project will contribute to energy expense savings and provide price certainty for the electricity produced.

“We are one of the first companies to install a turbine like this—and certainly the first lamb company in the United States,” said Ed Jenks, chief executive officer for Superior Farms. “We are committed at every facet of our business to sustainability. The entire company is proud that we are making this statement of environmental stewardship.”

Under the PPA arrangement, California-based Foundation Windpower installs, owns, and operates the wind turbine and Superior Farms purchases the power produced. The endeavor is the equivalent carbon offset to removing approximately 800 cars from the road and the equivalent to powering more than 250 average American homes.

Clark Peterson, Dixon’s plant engineer, first started talking to Foundation Windpower in 2011. A California wind survey named Dixon a “high wind area” with average winds 12-15 miles per hour. After discussions with several green companies, including solar opportunities, Peterson recommended the partnership with Foundation Windpower.

“I’ve been looking at ways to save energy since I got here because it affects our bottom line. A side benefit is the more energy we save, the more green we are,” said Peterson. “We already had cardboard recycling in place, we’ve worked on lighting efficiencies and power factor correction that gets us better energy usage. We’ve eliminated some systems that were duplicated, streamlining some processes. I’m absolutely open to any new technologies that can help us save energy and go green in the process.”

Superior Farms plans a more formal ribbon-cutting event and tour after the turbine is operational in 2013.

Founded in 1963 with headquarters in Davis CA, Superior Farms is North America’s largest processor and marketer of lamb. Providing products and services throughout the United States, Canada, and more than 10 nations, the company has about 400 employee-owners in its nationwide network of facilities and offices.

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