California citrus, avocado, cherry and nut producer Limoneira has installed 6,400 solar panels to generate up to one megawatt of energy, or enough to power its deep water wells that irrigate its thousands of acres of fresh produce.
The new 1MW system adds to Limoneira’s existing 1MW solar orchard installed in October 2008.
The solar systems are owned by Perpetual Power, which is a third-party company. Limoneira buys the electricity at an average of $0.08/kWh, or about a third less than California’s average retail electric rate of $0.12/kWh. The system should save the company $200,000 a year, according to the release.
Limoneira, with more than 7,000 acres, is among the largest lemon and avocado producers in the United States.