We all know the power of the Clif Bar brand and everything that it does for the athlete and his #energy. Now there is something to be done for the improvement of the bakery’s energy needs at its Twin Falls, Idaho location. In the very near future there will be about 30% #solar power used to source the factory’s power. There will be approximately five acres of solar panels located on the southwest portion of the company property. Some of the solar panels will even be located atop parking facilities and an existing pollinator garden that attracts bees, butterflies, beetles and birds.
Details of the Solar Power System
October 9th announcement presented the beginning of construction of the largest on-site “behind the meter” solar power system in the area, according to the regional manager of Idaho Power Company. Most of what the company sees is rooftop panels on people’s homes, he said. The next largest system is 17 times smaller.
The solar power system is predicted to generate over 3m kilowatt-hours per year, or roughly enough energy to power just under 300 homes. Additionally, the Twin Falls mayor presents this as a sample of the company’s commitment to the preservation of the environment along with the statement that Clif Bar is a company setting an example for other companies in the region.
Schedule of System Construction and Release
Initial ground-breaking of the location had been planned, but this was during the heavy rain season that most of the country recently experienced. The ceremonies were moved inside, but still presented the excitement over the solar power system that is expected to be launched by June 2019. The energetic notion of the facility was presented by General Manager Dale Ducommun wearing a bright yellow sun suit while introducing visitors to the event.
The 2019 solar farm is set to be built by Borrego Solar, including approximately 6,000 solar panels. Borrego president, Ben Foster, hired by Clif Bar for the project, is quite positive about the timeline of construction and the final results of the system. Unlike many other plans that we have heard of over the years, the solar power system to be located on the Clif Bar property will not be used to sell power to the rest of the Idaho Power Company grid.
Usage of the Solar Power
Given the working time of the bakery, seven days a week, the energy will be used solely for the company’s resources. Additionally, the pollinator garden will feature native plants that will be good for bees and butterflies, especially Monarch butterflies. Clif Bar will water the garden using a pressurized irrigation system that’s in place for the meadow grass that covers the land around its bakery, similar to requirements of other states with companies similar to Clif Bar.
Additionally, with the College of Southern Idaho nearby, there is a department of wind and solar education that can be supported by the new solar power system. Students will be able to visit for on-site studies along with the pollinator garden featuring an observation deck for community tours.
Clif Bar Dedicated to Permanent Sustainability
While providing clean energy to customers, Clif Bar is already proven to be completely green in power use as it buys renewable energy credits for all of the Twin Falls’ bakery’s power. However, the new solar power system will make the true generation of renewable energy on site. Additionally, this is predicted to cut Clif Bar’s energy costs over time, according to the project engineer Lane Daley.
Also, the bakery’s green-power commitment has extended to its suppliers. The plan is to have 50 (of which they already have 44) of its suppliers to source at least 50% of “green power” for the energy they use on Clif Bar’s behalf by 2020.
For reduction of energy usage, the LED lighting throughout the 300,000 square-foot bakery has been of great assistance. With special burners installed to use less gas, there is also the company’s goal of zero waste and recycling to promote their sustainability goals. Recycling within the bakery and the rest of the city has been increased, along with incredibly efforts to pollution prevention for which they have received great recognition and awards.
The company has a zero-waste goal, where 90 percent or more of its waste will be diverted from the landfill or incineration, though as of September, the bakery was diverting about 95 percent of its waste, including cardboard, plastics and food waste. The company’s efforts for environmental preservation are definitely incredibly compared to so many others.
Additional Bakery expansion
Now, along with the installation of the solar panels, there will also be an expansion of the Clif Bar bakery in Twin Falls. This includes its employee locker room and uniform storage space to coincide with the expansion of the team by 100 employees since the opening of the site. With crowding in the locker room, there has been need for storage to take place in the hallways along with very little space for on-site contractors. These problems, along with future team growth, will be solved and prevented by the expansion.
The bakery expansion project will also be sustainable in the fact that its completion by April 2019 will do more than add space and resources for the sanitization of equipment and storage of belongings. Old lockers will be donated to local schools and the company plans to recycle other materials rather than standard demolition.