Lundberg warehouse soaks up sun

Solely solar

Lundberg Family Farms, the local, family-owned organic-rice producer that’s received national attention for its healthful products, recently built a warehouse that’s powered solely by solar energy, according to a farm press release.

In early January, the farm completed the installation of nearly 1,700 solar panels atop its 37,000-square-foot warehouse in Richvale, about 20 miles south of Chico. The panels are expected to produce more electricity than the building needs. The farm now generates 20 percent of the electricity it uses from the sun and purchases renewable-energy offsets for the rest, making it effectively 100 percent green.

The new warehouse was also designed to capture and filter storm-water runoff, and combined with other features that reduce water consumption the building is expected to offset water use by nearly 40 percent. The building was also built with regionally produced and recycled materials, as well as green paints, sealants and adhesives.