Sun Powers More Than Rice Fields

| 2/15/2011 4:33:42 PM

RICHVALE, CA,  – Already a leader in organic and sustainable agriculture and the use of green energy, Lundberg Family Farms announces the opening of a new warehouse that is powered by 100% solar energy.

The family-owned producer of organic rice and rice products completed installation of 1,690 solar panels atop its 37,558 square-foot warehouse on its farm in Richvale, north of Sacramento, CA. The panels are expected to produce 500,000 kWh of green electricity, well above what’s needed to power the building. Combined with 584,000 kWh of green power producing solar panels elsewhere on the farm, Lundberg Family Farms now generates 20% of the electricity it consumes from solar energy, and purchases renewable energy credits to offset the rest, enabling it to claim 100% green energy use.

"As a pioneer in organic agriculture, our family has long considered environmental responsibility a core value,” said Grant Lundberg, CEO and a member of the third generation of Lundbergs to operate the 73-year-old company. “Solar power not only makes sense environmentally, it’s also good business. Over the long haul, what is cheaper and more reliable than energy from the sun?”

The new warehouse has been built to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification standards. In addition to its use of renewable energy, the warehouse is designed to capture and filter storm water runoff. The building features high-efficiency water conserving fixtures such as dual flush water closets, waterless urinal and electronic faucets which reduce water by 39% for a savings of 15,625 gallons per year.

Construction of the building emphasized regionally produced and recycled materials. Building products with recycled content and/or from a regional source are beneficial to the environment because they reduce virgin material use, solid waste volumes and emissions involved with transportation. Materials such as steel and aggregate base rock contributed to the overall recycled materials. The steel contained a total of 57% recycled content and the aggregate base rock was made up of 100% recycled material. Inside the building in order to reduce the amount of indoor air contaminants that are odorous, irritating or harmful to the comfort and well-being of the building’s occupants, adhesives and sealants, paints and coatings, all contain low VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) and no added urea-formaldehyde.

Lundberg Family Farms is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Green Power Leadership Club” and was a 2008 winner of the agency’s Green Power Leadership Award, which recognizes organizations that distinguish themselves through their purchase, leadership, overall strategy, and impact on the voluntary green power market.

Since 1937, the Lundberg family has been farming rice and using eco-positive farming methods to produce rice products at their farms in the Sacramento Valley. Now led by the third generation, Lundberg Family Farms produces wholesome, healthful rice products while protecting and improving the environment for future generations. For more information visit their website.  

This press release is presented without editing for your information. MOTHER EARTH NEWS does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.  

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