North Coast Solar Stocks

April 17, 2009

Del Monte Foods is ‘Enriching Lives With Light’ via 1.9-Megawatt SunPower Solar Panel System

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 8:00 am

Friday April 17, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

Largest Solar Rooftop System in California’s Central Valley; $25 Million Savings Expected Over the Next 30 Years

SAN FRANCISCO, April 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Del Monte Foods (DLM) and SunPower Corp. (SPWRA, SPWRB) will dedicate today a new 1.9-megawatt solar power system installed at two of Del Monte’s manufacturing plants. Combined, the two installations represent the largest solar rooftop system in California’s Central Valley. The system is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 95 million pounds over 30 years, which is equivalent to planting 9,800 acres of trees or not driving almost one billion miles on California roads, as determined by conversion formulas provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Del Monte estimates the system will deliver approximately $500,000 in savings on electrical costs in the first year of operation, and $25 million over its expected 30-year lifetime.

The celebration will take place at Del Monte’s Hanford, Calif. plant, which is hosting a 1.2-megawatt SunPower solar installation. At the company’s Kingsburg plant, just 33 miles from Hanford, SunPower designed and built a 759-kilowatt installation. In recognition of the importance of this milestone for Del Monte, California State Senator Dean Florez will be in attendance for the event.

“With this new solar power system at our Hanford and Kingsburg plants, we recognize Del Monte’s continuing commitment to environmental sustainability and the communities in which we work, a commitment that literally extends from the fields to the grocery shelf,” said Del Monte Foods Chairman and CEO Rick Wolford. “Since our beginning 150 years ago, the sun has fueled the growth of our fruit and tomato products. It will now help to power our California canneries as well, as we continue to provide our consumers with nutritious, great-tasting products produced with the addition of even more sunlight. At Del Monte, our environmental efforts support our mission of Nourishing Families, Enriching Lives, Every Day. Today, we are truly ‘Enriching Lives with Light’.”

Combined, the new solar system features 9,080 solar panels, covering nearly 200,000 square feet of rooftop – roughly the equivalent of three and a half football fields. The system will produce enough energy to power approximately 7,519 homes over the next 30 years.

Environmental sustainability also makes good business sense. Under the California Solar Initiative program, this system qualifies Del Monte for a rebate on utility rates for the first five years of operations. Del Monte is realizing additional savings as a result of California’s net metering program, which requires customers to pay only for the net amount of electricity their regional utility company supplies over-and-above the amount of electricity generated by an on-site solar power system.

“This SunPower system is powering Del Monte’s facilities with clean, renewable solar power during the times of day when demand is at its highest, easing stress on the utility grid when electricity is most needed and most expensive,” said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. “We applaud Del Monte’s vision and commitment, which is serving to significantly reduce both operational costs and the levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.”

“Del Monte Foods is committed to utilizing innovative programs and technologies that help minimize our impact on the environment,” said Nils Lommerin, Del Monte Foods chief operating officer. “From working with our growers to conserve water and reduce pesticide use, to reducing fuel consumption by eliminating 25 million miles from our distribution network, to harnessing the power of the sun to fuel these two plants, we continue on our journey to protect our planet and the communities where we operate.”

To learn more about Del Monte Foods’ solar power installation and its other environmental sustainability initiatives, visit http://www.delmonte.com/csr.

About Del Monte

Del Monte Foods is one of the country’s largest and most well-known producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded food and pet products for the U.S. retail market, generating approximately $3.2 billion in net sales in fiscal 2008. With a powerful portfolio of brands including Del Monte®, S&W®, Contadina®, College Inn®, Meow Mix®, Kibbles ‘n Bits®, 9Lives®, Milk-Bone®, Pup-Peroni®, Meaty Bone®, Snausages® and Pounce®, Del Monte products are found in eight out of ten U.S. households. The Company also produces, distributes and markets private label food and pet products. For more information on Del Monte Foods Company (NYSE: DLM – News) visit the Company’s website at http://www.delmonte.com.

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