Sun Powering Rice Milling Operation

John Davis

A California rice miller will dedicate the largest rice plant solar installation in the U.S. on Wednesday, June 18th.

Far West Rice will unveil its $6.5 million, one-million megawatt, Mitsubishi Solar System, that the company is using to power its milling operation at Nelson (south of Chico), California.

The solar array will meet about 70-80 percent of the total energy costs of the rice plant, using more than 5,500 Mitsubishi Electric solar panels installed by Pacific Power Management, LLC. When the plant is not operating, the solar system will feed electrical power back into the electrical grid.

Greg Johnson, Executive Vice President of Far West Rice, Inc. said “Going solar made sense from a business standpoint. Our electricity bill will be lower and the installation also means that our communities can breathe easier and enjoy California’s beauty with less air pollution. We are excited to be involved in this technology and know that it will exceed our expectations.”

Mark Frederick, managing partner of Pacific Power Management, commenting on Far West’s installation, said: “Far West Rice showed great initiative in going solar. They have a system now that sets the green standard in the rice industry and gives them a competitive advantage that will only grow as electricity prices increase.”