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General Mills Unveils Solar-Powered U.S. Facility

General Mills has completed the installation of a solar power system at its warehouse in Methuen, Mass., which is expected to supply nearly 80 percent of the warehouse’s power needs during the summer and 40 percent during the rest of the year.

The solar panels will generate 110.7 kilowatts of electricity, and provide a year-round average of 55 percent of the annual electricity consumed by the warehouse facility. The solar power system is expected to offset more than 112,000 lbs of carbon dioxide annually.

The facility, which produces yogurt, is the company’s first U.S. facility to produce its own electricity from solar energy. The panels were designed and installed by Nexamp.

General Mills is also constructing a biomass burner at its oat-milling facility in Fridley, Minn., that will burn leftover oat hulls from the milling process to produce about 90 percent of the steam needed to heat the plant and make oat flour.

In Europe, General Mills’ San Adrian, Spain, facility now gets all of its electricity and one third of its overall energy from renewable energy sources such as wind power.

In May, General Mills announced that its new 1.5 million-square-foot distribution center in Social Circle, Ga., achieved LEED Gold certification.

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