Planning Commission approves solar farm application
Lemoore’s largest employer, Leprino Cheese Co, has filed plans to build a 32 acre,10 megawatt solar farm just west of their big plant. Panels will be ground mounted. The city Planning Commission recently approved the application that will help cut the power bill at one the the largest cheese manufacturing facilities in the US. 10MW of power is enough to light up some 2500 homes.
The Lemoore West facility employs 1,000 team members, its size is equal to 11 football fields with over 640,000 square feet of cheese making capacity. Just how much of the daily power needs will be met by the solar farm is not known but it is thought to be substantial. In addition, having an on-site power source could offer the plant energy security in case of rolling grid blackouts.
In the past five years, the price of solar has declined some 45% says the Solar Energy Industry Association. Another incentive is the extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), where PV system owners qualify to offset tax payments owed to the IRS in an amount equal to 26% of the eligible cost basis of a solar photovoltaic system until the end of 2022.
California approves grants to food processors for similar systems to help food processors reduce their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.