FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., Oct. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Nestle Purina PetCare today unveiled the region's largest private solar array at its Flagstaff pet food manufacturing facility. The solar array, designed and installed by REC Solar, represents the latest step in Nestle Purina's commitment to being a leader in environmental performance and sustainability.
U.S. Representative Paul Gosar, a native of Flagstaff, led a dedication ceremony at the plant, where nearly 1,900 glistening solar panels span over 70,000 square feet on the rooftop. The solar array will take advantage of Arizona's average of 300 days of sunshine annually to produce emission-free solar electricity.
"This Nestle Purina solar project is good for the environment, good for the community, and good for business," Rep. Gosar said. "It's an excellent example of collaboration between private industry and federal and state entities, with long-term benefits for all stakeholders. It's encouraging to see major companies like Nestle Purina working hard to produce their products in an increasingly environmentally responsible manner."
"The 427-killowatt solar PV system will produce nearly 12 million kilowatt hours of clean, emission free solar electricity over its lifetime," said Cary Hayes, Director of Business Development for REC Solar. "This production volume offsets over 16 million pounds of greenhouse gases, equivalent to planting more than 40,000 trees."
REC Solar is one of the oldest and largest national solar integrators in the country, operating in six states. In addition to installing the Flagstaff solar array, REC partnered with Purina for the 2008 installation of a solar array at the Nestle Purina Denver pet food facility, the nation's first major pet food plant to pilot a solar energy array.
Nestle Purina Flagstaff, which celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2010, produces many of the world's most popular and trusted pet food brands, including Purina ONE® beyOnd™, Purina Cat Chow® and Purina Beneful® brand.
"At Nestle Purina, we are passionately committed to creating a better world for pets and their owners, now and for generations to come," said Bill Cooper, Vice President, Product Supply for Nestle Purina PetCare. "Utilizing renewable energy at our manufacturing facilities is just one part of our overall company plan to create shared value for society, which means going beyond compliance and really making a difference for the long-term."
Bill Calloway, Nestle Purina Flagstaff Plant Manager, added, "We are committed to continuously looking for ways to remain competitive while doing what's right for the environment, here in Northern Arizona, and everywhere we conduct business."
In 2008, Nestle Purina Flagstaff joined the Northern Arizona Renewable Energy group. Through the Arizona Public Service (APS) Green Choice program, the Flagstaff facility and other participants purchase a portion of their electric usage generated from a variety of renewable resources like wind and solar.
All of Nestle Purina North America's manufacturing locations have now implemented and maintain comprehensive environmental management systems, which have been certified by independent auditors to meet the internationally recognized ISO 14001 standard. Each Nestle Purina plant in the United States employs a person who is responsible for environmental and energy issues.
To help celebrate the launch of the new solar array, Nestle Purina made a combined donation of $5,000 to two local two animal welfare providers, Coconino Humane Association and Second Chance Center for Animals.
After Rep. Gosar spoke at today's event, he participated in a "Purina-style" ribbon-cutting, conducted with the help of a 9-pound Papillon named Primo. The small dog, who took first place in last week's national agility competition at the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge, traveled from Phoenix with his owner, Roger Coors, to take part in the celebration.
About Nestle Purina PetCare
Nestle Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestle Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestle S.A., the world's largest food company.
About REC Solar, Inc.
REC Solar is an industry leading solar power provider specializing in grid-tied residential and commercial installations. With a local presence in all major solar markets in the USA and millions of kilowatts installed, REC Solar is committed to lowering the cost of solar power through efficient processes, innovative products and outstanding customer service. REC Solar has more than a dozen offices in six states (California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Arizona and New Jersey). For additional information on REC Solar visit www.recsolar.com or call 1-888-OK-SOLAR (888-657-6527).
SOURCE Nestle Purina PetCare