Taylor Farms Director of Sustainability Nicole Flewell Discusses Latest Solar Installation
SALINAS, CA - It’s exciting times for the team at Taylor Farms as the company looks to another fruitful New Year of innovations, sustainability advancements, and investments across its extensive portfolio. One of these most recent endeavors was flipping on the switch of the company’s latest solar installation at its new prepared fresh foods facility in Dallas, Texas.
Director of Sustainability Nicole Flewell joins me in the wake of the event, to share Taylor Farms’ vision with the new installation and why the company continues to thrive at the forefront of sustainability technology.
“We began making significant sustainability investments in 2012,” Nicole tells me, “Since then we have installed a 1MW wind turbine in Gonzales and fuel cells in Salinas, as well as multiple solar installations in California and we are also working on a water recycling and cogeneration project in addition to many more potential ventures.”
On Tuesday, December 6th, 2016, the company welcomed a crowd of partners and customers as the team flipped the switch on the newest 1 MW roof mount array, spanning nearly four acres, with 3,520 panels installed. This investment makes this operation one of the largest commercial solar installations in the state of Texas.
Check out a behind the scenes look at the event and the new solar installation below!
This new Taylor Farms project was launched in partnership with ONCOR’s Solar Program. ONCOR’s energy efficiency programs provide incentives that assist companies in installing solar systems to reduce energy consumption and positively impact the environment. The Taylor Farms system will produce 1.1 MW of direct current (DC) power for the facility–an approximate 17 percent energy offset for the plant.
“Many of our energy efficiency projects have been centered in California due to the high cost of energy, but we have been looking for new and different ways to invest and expand our efforts nationwide and ONCOR provided that opportunity,” Nicole shares. “Taylor Farms is always looking for opportunities to maximize value to our customers and grow in capacity as well.”
Nicole has always had a passion for sustainability, beginning back in college where she earned a degree in Recreation and Tourism Management from Arizona State University. Nicole joined Taylor Farms in 2009, rising through the ranks to her current role as Director of Sustainability, which she assumed in June 2015. In her current role, Nicole leads the development and execution of a broad-based, company-wide strategic sustainability initiative, integrating sustainability throughout Taylor Farms.
“The consumer is changing and many want to find products from companies who have sustainability at the core of their business models,” Nicole adds. “Our goal is to make a difference and our retail, deli, and foodservice partners recognize that vision and how it translates the story of the product, and our company, to consumers. It makes good business sense, it’s good for the environment, and contributes to raising the bar on sustainability, within the entire industry.”
Taylor Farms’ sustainability efforts continue to enhance the company’s business performance while supporting the long-term growth of the company. With Nicole at the forefront, it looks like bright future ahead from here.