Uses 5,500 solar panels
Last modified on Thursday, 19 June 2008 08:18
A large rice farm in southern California (located in Cypress, California to be exact) is now growing “green” rice (green, as in solar-powered). Far West Rice, Inc. is now going to harvest, mill, store, and move and bag its rice using solar-generated electricity from a large array of solar panels next to its facility.
Far West Rice today premiered the world’s largest solar generating plant that exists for rice production. The company installed 5,500 solar panels made by Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics that were installed by Pacific Power Management.
The solar panels and installation were not cheap: the cost was $6.5 million, but part of the expense was offset by $1.8 million in solar rebates from the California Solar Initiative. Part of it from California’s state government program, Go Solar California, as well as surcharges on California consumer electricity bills.
Additionally, the solar installation is expected not only to power the plant processes, but to generate 1 Megawatt per year, or 1,440,000 KW hours per year, which is enough to cover between 70 and 80 percent of the plant’s total energy costs.