Conservation Measures, Solar Power Project Generate Results For Organic Produce Firm
by Addie Pobst, CF Fresh Inc.
Posted: 2009-10-12 17:35:42 EST

SEDRO-WOOLLEY, WA — A large solar power project, combined with programs designed to increase energy efficiency, has yielded impressive results for CF Fresh, a leading organic produce marketer. A newly completed analysis of both programs shows impressive results in both conservation and energy production.

The company installed 130 Sanyo HIP 195 solar panels and four SunnyBoy 6000 Inverters on the roof of their Sedro-Woolley office building in August 2007. At the same time, the company launched an initiative to reduce the amount of electricity consumed. In 2008 CF Fresh's electrical purchases were down 20% from previous three-year average. With continued gains in efficiency projected for 2009, the company estimates that this year's electrical purchases will be down a additional 6%.

Steve Mackey, CF Fresh Executive Vice President and Director of Finance, said "CF Fresh is on the look-out for practical ways to reduce the impact of our day-to-day activities. The investment in solar electric is just another way we are working to reach a sustainable level of resource consumption within our operations."

CF Fresh's rooftop solar installation produced just under 22,000 KWH annually, a surprisingly good result, given the rainy climate of northwestern Washington State. In 2008 CF Fresh produced 37% of the total electricity used at the Sedro-Woolley office. Since the system is tied to the electrical grid, energy that exceeds the facility's needs is pumped back onto the grid and sold to Puget Sound Energy. Of the electricity produced on site in 2008, 17,000 KWH were used on site and 5000 KWH were returned to the grid for use by other PSE clients.

The conservation initiative included upgrading to more efficient light fixtures, upgrading HVAC systems, replacing incandescent bulbs with compact florescent, replacing CRT computer monitors with LCD flat screens, and installing windows to take advantage of natural light, among other things. Prior to 2007, CF Fresh's annual electrical consumption had increased 7.5% per year. However, with the implementation of their conservation program the company's 2008 electrical usage declined .08%, with an additional 6.25% reduction expected for 2009.

CF Fresh is a pioneer in the marketing of Northwest organic tree fruits and a leading US supplier of certified organic fresh fruits and vegetables to wholesalers, retailers and distributors. CF Fresh works with a network of dedicated certified organic growers, supporting their commitment to organic agriculture with the industry's most experienced organic sales and marketing staff. CF Fresh offers customers a year-round supply of organic apples, pears, onions and potatoes, as well as stone fruits and other seasonal items.

Source: CF Fresh Inc.