Campbell Soup to build 9.8 megawatt solar generation plant

Campbell Soup’s Napoleon, OH plant will receive an energy boost from a new solar array to be installed this year. Source: Campbell Soup.

Campbell Soup plans 9.8 megawatt solar generation in Ohio

Campbell Soup will supplement its energy requirements with a 60-acre photovoltaic (PV) installation at its largest plant in Napoleon, OH. The processor has entered into a power-purchase agreement and a land-lease agreement with BNB Napoleon Solar, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of BNB Renewable Energy Holdings of Exton, PA.

The 9.8-megawatt facility will be constructed on 60 acres of ground near the Campbell plant. Campbell will lease the land to BNB, which will own the system and be responsible for its financing, construction, operation and maintenance. Under the agreement, Campbell will purchase 100 percent of the electrical power generated by the system, which is expected to provide approximately 15 percent of the electricity the plant requires annually. FirstEnergy Solutions will purchase the Solar Renewable Energy Credits from the project. Over the course of 20 years, Campbell will save up to $4 million based on US Department of Energy projections for the cost of electricity in Northwest Ohio. The project will eliminate approximately 250,000 metric tons of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions in the region.

“With the signing of the agreements, the detailed design and construction of the system can now begin and we should be in operation by the end of this year,” says Robert Shober, Campbell vice president – engineering. “We are excited to be hosting this facility, which when completed, will consist of approximately 24,000 high-efficiency solar modules, making it one of the largest such systems in the United States.”

ConAgra Foods plant earns LEED Platinum certification

The ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston frozen food manufacturing plant in Delhi, LA has earned LEED Platinum certification, the highest LEED certificate for green building design. The design, construction and operations at the Delhi facility were developed with environmental impact and sustainability in mind. The plant primarily processes sweet potatoes from the Louisiana region. Operations began in 2010.

The state-of-the-art equipment in the plant was designed to process sweet potatoes in the most efficient and environmentally responsible way-key for long-term, economic sustainability. When in complete operation, the plant will convert fresh sweet potatoes into consumer and restaurant products prepared from frozen product.

“We had an opportunity to build something from scratch and set out to build a great sustainable plant because it was right for the business and who we are as a company,” says Rick Martin, vice president for manufacturing at Lamb Weston. “We’ve been producing quality sweet potato products for the past 10 years, which allowed us to bring the best of what we’ve learned during this time to the design and construction of the Delhi plant.” 

Notable features of the new plant that helped it earn the platinum certification include:

  • The entire plant is climate controlled to increase worker productivity, safety and comfort. Climate control in such a hot, humid environment reduces condensation build up and water on the floors, reducing slip and fall and hazards. Materials, such as low VOC (volatile organic compounds) carpeting, cleaning products and paints, are used in the interior of the plant to reduce occupant exposure to airborne pollutants.
  • Energy-saving equipment is projected to save 40 percent of the annual energy consumed at a comparable plant. By identifying and recovering potential wasted energy within the building systems and processes, energy demand is greatly reduced.
  • Biogas, produced by treating process waste water, is piped back to the plant boilers to produce steam. This process is expected to offset approximately 20 percent of the annual natural gas demand of the plant, and prevents methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, from entering the atmosphere.
  • More than 100 acres of the property will be maintained as open space, including protected wetland areas, ponds and restored native vegetation. Water is conserved outside the building by landscaping with native plant species that require no irrigation once established.
  • Priority parking is given to low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicles.

“LEED was used as a back check to validate the sustainable strategies implemented during design and construction” says Patrick Leonard, green building consultant, LEED AP, Paladino and Company. “The platinum rating is the positive outcome of our team’s focus on balancing the project’s impacts to the planet, employees and the community, and Lamb Weston’s bottom line.”

According to the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the Lamb Weston facility is the first “large-scale frozen food manufacturing plant” to earn its Platinum certificate. Last year, Shearer’s Foods was the first snack-food manufacturing plant in the US to earn the LEED Platinum certification for its state-of-the-art Millennium plant in Massillon, OH. Many new, innovative processing technologies-including oven, cooking, frying and recycling of heat and energy-were at the core of Shearer’s plant, which played a key role in earning its Platinum certificate.

David Gregory

NBC's David Gregory to keynote Food Safety Summit

David Gregory, host of NBC’s Meet the Press, will deliver the keynote address at BNP Media’s 13th annual Food Safety Summit on Wednesday, April 20, 2011. The 9:30 a.m. presentation is open to all attendees and will focus on food safety issues. The Food Safety Summit Expo & Conference will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC from April 19-21, 2011.

Gregory has moderated several discussions about food safety issues, and since being named moderator of Meet the Press in 2008, has covered the Obama administration from all angles, reporting extensively on the economy, health care reform and the ongoing wars.

The Food Safety Summit offers an educational program that starts on Tuesday, April 19 with three half-day workshops. Speakers will provide in-depth analyses and give attendees the opportunity to discover how key food safety issues are implemented at other organizations. These include “Training for Results;” “Effective Risk Communication in Order to Secure Food Safety Resources;” and “The Three Pillars of a Successful Liability Program: Prevention, Response and Resolution.”

Other conference sessions on Wednesday and Thursday will feature important government and public health issues including:

  • “Food Regulations: What New Mandates Face the Food Industry in 2011 and Beyond?”
  • “The FDA Food Code: Content, Adoption and Implementation”
  • “Traceability, Managing Allergens and Food Defense”
  • “Food Safety Media Training: How to Be Smart”
  • “Working with Public Health Officials”
  • “Preparing for a GFSI Audit: Teachings from Those Who Have Been Audited.”

The program also features supplier exhibits and education sessions held in Vendor Theaters. Vendor-produced lectures will operate on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 and be led by Bureau Veritas, Romer Labs, Alchemy Systems, Eurofins Scientific and Ingersoll Rand.

For more information, visit the Food Safety Summit website.

To Russia with love

North American food and beverage processors are beginning to find Russia an excellent place to set up shop and/or sell their wares. Both Cargill and PepsiCo are winners.

Approval of Cargill’s Guelph, Ontario operation will translate into more Canadian beef being sold into the Russian market-a much-needed boost for Eastern beef cattle processors. Company officials confirmed that effective immediately, Russian regulatory authorities have recognized their application for certification. Cargill will work diligently with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to facilitate the trade of beef and related products.

“This was no different than any of our valued markets; it took some heavy lifting to regain access post-BSE,” says Matt Gibney, Cargill general manager. “We remained optimistic that with all the collaborative work being done by CFIA, the Canadian Beef Export Federation and the Canadian Embassy in Russia that this day would materialize.”

The Russian Federation has issued approvals for PepsiCo’s previously announced acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, Russia’s leading branded food-and-beverage company. As a result, PepsiCo has received all regulatory approvals required as conditions to completing the acquisition. Under the agreement, a subsidiary of PepsiCo will acquire approximately 66 percent of Wimm-Bill-Dann from a group of shareholders and subsidiaries of Wimm-Bill-Dann for approximately $3.8 billion. After closing the acquisition agreement, PepsiCo will own approximately 77 percent of the total outstanding ordinary shares of Wimm-Bill-Dann. The deal is expected to be complete by the end of February 2011.

This transaction will make PepsiCo the largest food-and-beverage business in Russia and will strengthen the company’s position in the fast-growing Eastern European and Central Asian markets. It also will raise PepsiCo’s annual global revenues from nutritious and functional foods from approximately $10 billion today to nearly $13 billion. This moves the company closer to its strategic goal of building a $30 billion nutrition business by 2020.

Lower foodborne illness rate no accident

The American Meat Institute was encouraged by the findings of two new papers released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which estimate lower numbers for foodborne illness occur annually than previously thought.


Asset Management: Aligning man and machine

A coordinated approach to asset management has value for facilities, equipment and the people responsible for both.

The case for high benefit lighting

There’s a lot more to new lighting advancements than just saving money.

Keep the gears running

Food-grade lubricants have come of age in performance, but the more compelling reason to make the switch from conventional lubricants is to meet regulatory demands.

Engineering R&D: Membranes and milk

Separation technology helps researchers isolate components in milk, but understanding precisely what those components do remains an active area for research.

People, Plant and Industry News

Del Monte Foods Co. will name Neil Harrison of Vestar Capital Partners as the company’s interim CEO.


SKF appointed Poul Jeppesen as president, North America with overall responsibility for Canada, Mexico and the US. He will report to Tom Johnstone, SKF president and CEO.


Paolo Barilla, president of AIDEPI (the Association of the Italian Pastry and Pasta Industries), was named to lead the upcoming IPACK-IMA trade show.


Texas-based food service distributor Ben E. Keith Foods acquired Oklahoma-based Dan’s Foodservice.


ABB Ltd completed its acquisition of Baldor Electric Company, a North American manufacturer of industrial motors. The transaction was valued at $4.2 billion.


The International Society of Automation (ISA) welcomed H. L. “Leo” Staples as its 2011 president.


Gary Cooper, Cooper Farms, Oakwood, OH, was elected chairman of the board of directors of the US Poultry & Egg Association. He previously served as vice chairman. New 2011 officers include Mark Waller, vice chairman; James Adams, treasurer; and Elton Maddox, secretary.


Buffalo Rock Company named Matthew Dent as president and chief operating officer.


Clifton, NJ-based Newark Wire Cloth Company celebrated its 100th birthday. It works with stainless steel, titanium, molybdenum, tantalum and tungsten and produces screens from 130 mesh to 510 x 3600 per inch. From these screens, it produces a sanitary product line of strainers and wire mesh overscreens.


Morrison Container Handling Solutions named Cezary Mroz as its new director of engineering and development.


Edwin (J.R.) Reeser was named area sales manager for Piab USA, Inc.’s newly formed Midwest sales region.