AUSTIN, Minn. – Hormel Foods Corp. announced on April 26 a new partnership with IGS and PCI Solar to build a solar energy facility at its Swiss American Sausage Co. location in Lathrop, California. Installation for the new project will be completed by July 2019.

The solar companies will install 1,998 panels at the plant on the roof and along the ground. The project intends to generate around 1.2 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year — enough to supply more than 15 percent of the facility’s annual electricity consumption.

“We place great emphasis on minimizing our environmental impacts when producing food for customers and consumers around the world,” said Tom Raymond, director of environmental sustainability at Hormel Foods. “This project supports our environmental sustainability goals and is another example of the company’s commitment and support of renewable energy.”

The new solar facility will offset an estimated 869 metric tons of CO2 emissions every year that would have been emitted by fossil fuel power plants. According to Hormel Foods, that is equivalent of removing 185 cars from the road annually or avoiding burning 950,419 lbs. of coal.

“We are honored to be installing the company’s first on-site solar project,” said Craig Floyd, general manager of PCI Solar. “Bringing this project to construction required close collaboration with Hormel Foods and IGS Solar, and we couldn’t have asked for better partners. We look forward to working together further.”

On April 10, Hormel Foods announced that it would be accessing energy produced at a new wind farm being built in Milligan, Nebraska, by 2020. Along with the wind agreement, Hormel is also supporting renewable energy markets by using community solar gardens at five manufacturing locations, including a co-sponsorship with Westar Energy for its first community solar garden near Wichita, Kansas.