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Frito-Lay Plans Net-Zero Plant

Frito-Lay wants its Casa Grande plant to become a net zero facility, The New York Times reports. The plan has the backing of top-level executives at PepsiCo, the parent company of Frito-Lay.

Over the next several years, Frito-Lay plans to install high-tech filters that would recycle most of the water used to rinse and wash potatoes, as well as the corn used to make Doritos and other snacks, and then burn the leftover to create methane gas to run the plant’s boiler.

The company will build at least 50 acres of solar concentrators. A biomass generator is also planned to provide additional renewable fuel.

The retrofit is scheduled to be completed by 2010, would reduce electricity and water consumption by 90 percent and its natural gas use by 80 percent. Greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by 50 percent to 75 percent, the company said.

The company’s projections show that the retrofit will cost slightly more over the next 25 years than if they continued with current programs.

Frito-Lay recently completed installation of a solar power system on the roof of its Arizona Service Center, the company’s largest U.S. distribution center.

PepsiCo recently made the largest-ever corporate REC purchase, matching the purchased electricity used by all PepsiCo US-based manufacturing facilities, headquarters, distribution centers and regional offices.

The purchase, more than 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours, put PepsiCo at the top of the EPA’s list of top-25 green power purchasers.

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