PIERCETON, IND. and HARVARD, ILL. — OMCO Solar and several other solar industry partners successfully installed a custom array of solar panels at Pedigree Ovens, the Pound Bakery and Petdine’s 212,000-square-foot pet treat co-manufacturing facility in Harvard, Ill.

The 1.7-megawatt array, which is mounted on the ground near the facility, spans roughly 4.2 acres and will produce more than 2 million kilowatt-hours of power per year, enough to fully cover the plant’s energy needs.

“Since 1996, Pedigree Ovens, The Pound Bakery and Petdine have been producing top-of-the-line private label pet treats,” explained Kurt Stricker, owner of Pedigree Ovens, The Pound Bakery and Petdine. “We have a long history of contributing to the Harvard community; investing in clean energy is yet another way we demonstrate our commitment.”

Moreover, the solar array will offset approximately 1,456 tons of greenhouse gases annually, reducing the co-manufacturer’s carbon footprint and reducing its energy costs.

“Over the next 25 years, the array will offset 9,000 metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of 50 railcars of coal from being burned and the equivalent of more than 22 million passenger vehicle miles,” Stricker added.

Original plans for the solar panels placed the array on the roof of the facility, but changes were made to move the array to the ground to allow for future expansion of the facility.

“This array is an excellent example of partnerships at work, as all of our vendor partners contributed to the successful installation of this creative and unique array,” said Eric Goodwin, director of business development for OMCO Solar. “In addition to the visual aesthetics, the investment in solar saves money on energy costs and reduces the company’s carbon footprint.”

Speaking of visual aesthetics, the solar array has one unique distinction; modules were carefully placed to depict a dog bone and pawprint within the array. The mounting and installation of the array was done by OMCO Solar, using blue, silver and black-on-black panels to make sure the images were aligned.

The array was engineered by Simpleray, a solar energy company based in Iowa and Illinois, and module placement and electrical was overseen by Althoff Industries. Additionally, SMA-America manufactured the inverter for the array, and HT-SAAE developed the custom modules to include the dog bone and paw print display.

“One of the most rewarding elements of working in renewables is the myriad advantages that clean energy brings,” Goodwin concluded. “Moving to solar power benefits the employees, the business and the community at large, and ensures a resilient, sustainable, clean energy future for decades to come.” 

Read more about Pedigree Ovens and The Pound Bakery in our exclusive processor profile from June 2018. 

Read more about sustainability in the pet food and treat supply chain.