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CEC Awards Cap-And-Trade Dollars to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Save Energy at Food Processing Facilities

For Immediate Release October 14, 2019

Sacramento, Tulare companies receive latest round of funds

SACRAMENTO – The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved $6.2 million in grants today for research projects that could help food producers save energy and money while advancing California’s climate and clean energy goals.

The projects are funded through the Food Production Investment Program (FPIP), which is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that uses cap-and-trade dollars to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment.

“FPIP is an important program that is helping California meet its 100 percent clean energy and its GHG reduction goals,” said CEC Vice Chair Janea A. Scott. “Dairies, wineries, food, and other facilities throughout the state are embracing innovative technologies that reduce pollution and can help their bottom line.”

Nearly $44 million has been awarded to 21 recipients in 10 counties across the state since FPIP was established in 2018.

Today’s awards include projects in the San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento. Saputo Cheese USA Inc., received $5.4 million to install a solar thermal system at the company’s cheese production facility in Tulare. This project will reduce on-site natural gas usage.

Blue Diamond Growers received $746,890 to install energy efficiency upgrades at its food processing facility in Sacramento. The upgrades will include installing new boilers and a heat recovery system.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, California has more than 5,500 food and beverage processing plants. Food processing plants account for more than 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) of annual GHG emissions in California, according to the California Air Resources Board.

Many food processors are large emitters, putting out more than 25,000 metric tons of CO2e annually. The FPIP-funded projects are estimated to reduce these GHG emissions by up to 30 percent annually.

The California League of Food Producers estimates that the food processing industry contributes $82 billion in total value to the state’s budget.

The budget for FPIP is more than $117 million. Applications are being accepted in the current funding opportunity, which has more than $74 million available. More information is at the FPIP solicitation page.

A list of all the FPIP awardees to date, including the ones approved today, can be found in the following chart.

More details about the CEC actions taken today are in the business meeting agenda.

About the California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is leading the state to a 100 percent clean energy future. It has seven core responsibilities: developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, increasing energy efficiency, investing in energy innovation, advancing state energy policy, certifying thermal power plants, and preparing for energy emergencies.

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