Sierra Pacific installs 30 acres of solar panels to power Red Bluff sites
RED BLUFF — Sierra Pacific Industries is installing of 30 acres of solar panels at its Reading Road property just outside of Red Bluff.
The installation of the 30,240 solar panels began Friday, said Millwork Division Manager Bill Carroll, who has been working on the project for about 18 months. The installation, being done by Coldwell Solar out of Rocklin, should be completed by Dec. 1.
“It will be in the neighborhood of a million dollars per year in savings,” Carroll said.
The $12 million project is expected to provide about 30 years worth of savings to the company and shows its continued commitment to being green, said North Sierra Community Relations Manager Kristy Lanham.
“This solar project will generate power for our windows division plant and office (in Red Bluff) and the Red Bluff millworks plant and office, which is unique,” Lanham said. “It is part of an on-going commitment that started with the co-generation plants to be sustainable and green, which has been going since 1986. In the manufacturing and industrial industry, it’s a challenge to go green because of the cost.”
Lanham praised Tehama County, saying the business community, the Tehama County Board of Supervisors and Red Bluff-Tehama County Chamber of Commerce are “very business-friendly and great partners.”
“They make investing in the community easier,” Lanham said. “They incentivize and encourage economic development. In a rural community, projects of this size can be impossible and challenging. It can turn into a 5- to 10-year project.”
The bulk of the 14 facilities owned by the company are in Shasta and Tehama counties, in large part due to the communities behind those areas, Lanham said.
Changes in legislation and partnerships with agencies such as the National Park Service and US Forest Service have brought about a greater need for green options. The company is also being green through its biomass facilities, of which there are five in California, Lanham said.
What normally would have been waste goes to the co-generation biomass facilities, then used to create power.
The five California biomass co-generation plants use wood residuals and forest thinnings from timber to create power to provide renewable energy for mills. The plants provide enough energy in a year to power 90,000 homes, Lanham said.