Egg production company Cal-Maine Foods has selected Entegrity Energy Partners to install a 4.15 MWdc solar array at its egg production and processing facility in Searcy, Arkansas.
Subject to approval from the Arkansas Public Service Commission, construction is expected to begin in this year’s second quarter. Cal-Maine says the project is in line with its mission to be a sustainable and reliable supplier of high-quality fresh shell eggs and egg products.
The 28-acre solar array is expected to offset around 91% of the facility’s current electrical usage and lessen its reliance on the electrical grid, enhance the company’s energy self-sufficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It was not known how much, if any, of the solar farm's electricity would directly power operations at the egg farm.
“We believe that this solar investment helps augment the Searcy farm’s commitment to sustainability and helps us become more resilient in our ability to meet customers’ needs," Tim Thompson, Vice President of Operations at Cal-Maine Foods, said.
Michael Parker, President of Entegrity, said, “We have recently seen an increased drive for solar solutions in Arkansas given the constructive regulatory environment, attractive potential returns on investments and enhanced commitment to sustainability goals. With Cal-Maine Foods, we can deliver our energy expertise to help prepare the company for a more sustainable future.”
Headquartered in Ridgeland, Mississippi, Cal-Maine Foods is the largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs in the U.S. and sells the majority of its shell eggs in states across the southwestern, southeastern, mid-western and mid-Atlantic regions of the country.
Entegrity is an Arkansas-based energy services, sustainability and solar development company.
The "Natural State," as Arkansas calls itself, is a relatively late comer to solar energy installations and ranks in the middle nationwide for capacity. A report last year by the Solar Energy Industries Association indicated that Arkansas had more than 600 MW of installed solar capacity.
Entergy, one of the predominant electric utilities in the state, has contracted several hundred MW of solar power from projects built by developer NextEra Energy Resources, itself a subsidiary of Florida-based utility giant NextEra Resources.
Cal-Maine Foods' website calls itself the largest producer of shell eggs in the U.S. The company was formed in 1957 by Fred Adams Jr. and is headquartered in Ridgeland, Mississippi.
Cal-Maine Foods owns farms, processing plants, hatcheries, feed mills, warehouses, offices and other properties located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah, according to the website.