US - Meat and agrifood group Cargill has joined forces with Tesla and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), to install Tesla's Energy Storage product at the company’s Fresno beef processing plant.
Tesla’s batteries help to reduce energy costs by storing electricity at off-peak use times, then using it during peak periods.
In total, the Tesla batteries have a 1 megawatt capacity that will be charged daily from the existing PG&E electricity grid system during off-peak hours, when electricity rates are lowest.
The electricity stored in the batteries will then be used when rates are the highest each day during peak use times.
By doing so, Cargill is reducing its contribution to the daily state power peak, when less environmentally friendly electricity generation might otherwise be required to meet demand.
Electric utility cost savings are estimated to be more than $100,000 annually.
As the first large-scale battery installation at a Cargill meat processing facility, the company hopes to learn from this project for future potential use of this technology at its plants around the world.
“Tesla Energy Storage is another example of our willingness to employ new and different concepts for reducing our environmental footprint in ways that benefit the community and our beef business,” said Jon Nash, Cargill’s beef plant general manager at Fresno.
“We understand that while we produce nourishing protein for millions of people on the West Coast, it is important for us to do so as responsibly as possible.
“Proper stewardship of the resources required to produce food is crucial to the ongoing success of our business and is important to current and future generations as the world’s population increases from more than 7 billion people today to more than 9 billion in 2050.”
Installation of Tesla’s Energy Storage system at Cargill’s Fresno beef processing plant coincides with the company’s global Earth Day activities around the world.
The company’s efforts range from resource conservation to trash removal from waterways; educating farmers in emerging nations how to optimize resources for long-term food production and more efficient transport of food that reduces emissions and use of fossil fuels; and collaborating with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and farmers and ranchers to improve agriculture.
In recent years, Cargill pioneered the use of new technology to improve its environmental footprint at Fresno.
In 2013, the company worked with a third party to install a solar water heating system on the roof of the beef plant’s main building, resulting in a reduction of the facility’s use of natural gas while also reducing its cost to heat water for food safety and plant sanitation purposes.
Years earlier, the plant installed a methane gas recovery system for its wastewater pond, which captures this greenhouse gas for use as a fuel source to heat boilers.
Water from the boilers is used for daily plant sanitation.
Using this system eliminates greenhouse gas from being released into the atmosphere. Additionally, the plant’s water use has been significantly lowered through an ongoing program of reduction and reuse.
“In 2015, Cargill is celebrating 150 years of feeding people in a way that helps people, communities where we have a presence, and the planet, thrive,” said Mr Nash.
“Through science-based innovations and technologies, we believe our rich heritage will continue for the next 150 years.”
TheMeatSite News Desk