The General Mills Methuen plant, which makes Yoplait Yogurt, became the first General Mills plant in the Country to power themselves with solar energy. Yesterday I attended the groundbreaking for the panels with Senator Steve Baddour, Rep. Barbara L’italien, and State Commissioner of Energy Resources Philip Giudice. Governor Deval Patrick sent a video talking about this project and his commitment to greatly expanding renewable energy in Massachusetts.
This project is an excellent example of how Massachusetts has made a significant effort to expand renewables and create jobs. And many of those jobs are right here in the Merrimack Valley. This project had Nexamp of North Andover making the solar panels, and Solectria of Lawrence making the inverters. Governor Deval Patrick and the Legislature deserve great credit for being willing to invest in renewables and begin to make Massachusetts a national leader in an industry that is so vital to our future. This project was made possible by a rebate on the installation by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
This project is not a small one. The panels provide a year-round average of 55 percent of the annual electricity consumed by the warehouse building. (80% in the summer) The panels generate enough electricity (110.7 kilowatts) to power approximately 12 average Massachusetts homes every year. Solar power will offset more than 112,000 lbs of carbon dioxide annually. This is the equivalent of taking 10 cars off the road. Congratulations to General Mills for investing in this project. That plant has been a great asset to Methuen, and we look forward to many years of continued partnership.