In what is reported to be the largest Solyndra solar system installation in the United States, PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America Modesto, CA, manufacturing facility has installed a one megawatt cylindrical solar photovoltaic (PV) system on its rooftop.
The project consists of approximately 5,600 panels, covering 247,000 square feet, and was completed in eight weeks. The system has an installed capacity of one megawatt which, at peak production, will reduce the plant's electricity use from outside sources by 25 percent. It also reduces CO2 emissions by 1,000 metric tons per year.
The rooftop PV system is the second solar project at the Modesto facility. In 2008, the Modesto facility unveiled a five-acre solar concentrator field made up of 54,000 square feet of concave mirrors. The solar energy captured by the 384 solar collectors is used to generate steam that helps heat the cooking oil used in the SunChips manufacturing process. Since 2000, the facility's resource conservation program has reduced its use of electricity by 19 percent, natural gas consumption by 30 percent and water by 44 percent per pound of produced product.
In July, the Modesto plant achieved LEED Existing Buildings Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.