Joseph Gallo Farms, a family-owned dairy, cheese-making and whey business in the small community of Atwater, Calif., has unveiled an on-site 2 MW solar array. The fixed-array system, installed by SolarCity, consists of 7,840 solar panels on 8 acres.
“Sustainable farming has been a core value in our family starting with my grandfather, Joseph Gallo,” explained third-generation dairy farmer and cheese maker Peter Gallo. “We’ve envisioned integrating solar energy on the farm for as long as I can remember, and today is a step toward greater sustainability.”
In addition to the new solar array, Joseph Gallo Farms also operates one of the largest and longest-running methane digesters in California, which captures biogas from cow manure and then uses the biogas to fuel generators to produce energy. The electricity produced by this renewable “cow power” is used on-site.
“Our new solar array meets about half of our energy needs for our dairy and farming operations,” added Gallo. “Partnered with our existing methane digester, we’re moving closer to becoming a net-zero energy dairy farm and cheese plant, continuing a long tradition of pioneering renewable energy deployment and sustainability practices.”
Photo: Peter Gallo