Testa Produce has been an EPA Green Power Partner since April 2012. The produce distribution company occupies a 91,300-sq-foot facility in Chicago’s Industrial Stockyards Park, where 18 percent of the facility’s annual electricity needs are supplied by an on-site 750-kW wind turbine and about 180 solar panels.
In addition, all water is heated by means of a solar thermal system containing evacuated tube collectors, which use water as the heating medium, so no gas is used to heat water. Also, the facility’s offices, freezer and outdoor fixtures are illuminated with LEDs.
In an interview for the EPA’s Green Power Partner newsletter, a Testa spokesman said because the company is part of the food industry, its leadership felt a responsibility to the environment. Green power has also turned out to be a marketing tool, distinguishing Testa from many of its competitors.
“Perhaps the most essential benefit we have experienced is our cost savings – we are generating close to $50,000 a year in savings through our wind and solar power production,” according to Testa.
The company’s current green power goal is to be able to produce 50 percent of its building’s energy needs through renewable power. The plan is to add more solar panels at a higher power output.