Back in 1999, Frito-Lay made an ambitious commitment to save energy and lower our impact on the environment. One of the most exciting initiatives to come from that commitment was the field of solar collectors recently installed at our facility at Modesto, California, where we make SunChips® and other snacks.
Since 2008, our Modesto plant has been harnessing the power of the sun to help SunChips® live up to its name.
Over 54,000 square feet of concave mirrors make up the 384 solar collectors that help reduce the amount of natural gas used at the plant, which means we're avoiding more than 1.7 million pounds of CO2 emissions every year, while producing more than 145,000 bags of SunChips® every day.
We're avoiding more than 1.7 million pounds of CO2 emissions every year.
How does it work? The solar collectors track the sun throughout the day, heating the water in the pipes that run across the diameter of the mirrors up to 450º F and producing steam. We then use this solar-generated steam to help cook SunChips® thereby eliminating the need to use natural gas. Since Modesto, California, is one of the sunniest places in America, scoring an amazing 306 sunny days in 2007, we’ll keep the SunChips® snacks coming!
And since we are so committed to reducing our need to use non-renewable energy sources, we have distribution centers in Arizona, California, New York and Texas that will be using solar power, and, at our headquarters in Plano, Texas, we recently installed solar hot water heaters as part of our mission to achieve LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council by summer 2009.
Using the sun to help make SunChips® and other great snacks? It seems only natural.