Bakersfield, California-based grape producer Sun World International LLC is planning to install 921 kilowatts (kW) of solar-powered photovoltaic facilities at four new ranches in the Central Valley of California. With this project, the company aims for 10 percent of its power to be generated by these on-site energy sources in an effort to reduce dependency on power generated from fossil fuels by 2022.
Over the next 25 years, the company expects to generate 41 million kWhs of solar energy and reduce its greenhouse gas footprint by 34,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Aside from renewable energy, Sun World’s other environmental initiatives focus on water conservation and soil and bee health. Water conservation efforts include developing more than 500 acres of groundwater retention ponds and sourcing 75 percent of its water from these basins in dry years. In addition to improving energy and water efficiencies, Sun World says it also is supporting soil and bee health by planting cover crop and hedgerows on at least 50 percent of its acreage.
These initiatives are part of Sun World’s larger sustainability program, “The Better Future Project,” and are highlighted in the company’s corporate social responsibility report that was published in February.
“As an organization, we understand the importance of implementing sustainable practices into our day-to-day operations,” said Sun World CEO Merrill Dibble. “Our initiatives will help achieve our vision for a better future.”