CHICAGO — Conagra Brands, Inc. has announced plans to place eight acres of solar panels on the property of its Wish-bone salad dressing facility in St. Elmo, Ill.
The energy generated by the panels will be equivalent to the amount needed to produce approximately 35% of all Wish-bone salad dressings as well as Log Cabin and Mrs. Butterworth’s syrups, which also are produced at the facility, Conagra Brands said. Work on the project is set to begin this winter with completion slated for spring 2020.
“At Conagra Brands, we strive to be mindful of our impact on the environment,” said Katya Hantel, director of sustainable development at Conagra Brands. “Exploring renewable energy technologies is just one of the many ways the company is investing in a more sustainable future.”
The 2-megawatt system is part of a 15-year service agreement between Conagra Brands and SolAmerica Energy and is being developed under the Illinois Shines initiative, a state-administered incentive program supporting the development of new solar energy generation in Illinois. Under the program, the Renewable Energy Credits from the system will be purchased by Ameren Illinois.
“SolAmerica is excited to partner with Conagra Brands to help bring large-scale renewable energy to Illinois,” said Stan Allen, chief executive officer for SolAmerica Energy. “Our shared desire to pursue a project that would be both financially and environmentally beneficial was a recipe for success in bringing the deal together.”
As part of its commitment to sustainability, Conagra Brands said it also is exploring renewable energy technologies at other facilities within its network.