October was a big, sunny month at Netafim USA, specifically at our drip irrigation systems manufacturing facility in Fresno. It was the month in which we went live with our new 680 KW solar array, delivering up to 1,000 MWH per year, around 10% of the total power requirements of our Fresno site. This would be equivalent to supplying power to 170 average homes in California. The solar array is located on the roof or our manufacturing site and distribution center, and expects to pick up close to 5.5 hours of sunshine each day on average.
Making use of the sun’s natural energy, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, is another step forward for Netafim in our commitment to sustainable business and a sustainable planet. As world leaders in drip irrigation, we are already keenly aware of the interplay between water, land, energy and food, and our mission has always been to help farmers around the world to Grow More With Less. Now, at Fresno, we can Manufacture More With Less: more dripperlines with less fuel, generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions – contributing to the advancement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13. We are happy to join the efforts of governments and companies all around the world to further progress against this goal.
Installing a large solar array was not without its challenges. We had to prepare the roof of our site to ensure its robustness to carry the weight of the solar panels and ensure all other facilities were in place to conduct the solar power to our facility. We had to learn about the complexities of the solar panel business, in order to ensure we select the right system for our requirements. Finally, on October 5, 2016, we flipped the switch. It was a sunny day indeed for Netafim and for our sustainable future.