Local company finds creative way to reuse energy

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- Almonds are the business at Minturn Huller Cooperative, and much like their product, the company is powered by the sun.

"Everybody wants to see something improving, air quality improving. So the solar gives us a huge impact on co2 offsets. There also a financial impact, it helps our bottom line," said Minturn Huller Cooperative General Manager Jeff Hamilton.

Hamilton says they saw a 42 percent savings from their new solar structure and it is powering one of the company's three buildings on its own.

Electrical costs have been one of their top expenses.

The cooperative is made up of 300 farmers from Madera and Merced counties. They recently turned to picket solar with a challenge.

"He said the only dilemma we have is, we have no ground because we are maximized our here, and we need it all for harvest, and so I was like 'wow' we had to get creative," said Pickett Solar Project Developer, Mike Williams.

They decided to create a parking structure the size of a football field.

"There's nothing like this in the Central Valley, and I don't know if there's anything like this in California of this size, so we are very proud," said Williams.

Pickett says more companies are turning to green power.

"I would honestly say 90 percent of our business is ag because they're up against everything: rising energy costs, everything is rising on them from labor, etc. They've gotta find a way to cut costs everywhere," said Williams.

For Minturn, the energy they are using to power their business and keep up with growing demand for almonds across the U.S. and world.

Picket solar says they believe more companies will go green. Not only because of the savings, but also the tax credit. That number will change in 2019 and go down.
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