Projects — GH Dairy

PowerPlay Solar has partnered with the largest independent milk producer in the United States, GH Dairy, to install a 100 kW solar project at one of the Sarah Farms milk processing facilities in Yuma, AZ owned by GH Dairy. The project is comprised solely of a new exciting solar thermal technology called the PowerDish™ by Infinia which utilizes a stirling engine paired with a parabolic mirrored dish to produce clean electricity efficiently. Infinia, based in Washington State, is ramping up for the commercial launch of the PowerDish. The project is currently the largest PowerDish installation in the United States.

Hein Hettinga and his son Gerben are co-owners of GH Dairy. Hein is a Dutch immigrant and began working on dairy farms soon after his family emigrated to the United States after World War II. He quickly moved from working on dairy farms in southern California to rehabilitating injured cows and by the early 1990s owned several dairies with relatives and partners. Hein and Gerben eventually built their own bottling plants in Yuma, the location of the solar installation, as well as a plant in El Paso, Texas.

The Hettingas are pioneers in the dairy industry and they have been vertically integrating their operations over the years. By installing a solar facility on site they are making a significant commitment towards energy independence. It also helps them achieve their objectives of becoming an environmental leader while cutting operating costs. Dairy processing is a very energy intensive process and thus a solar asset on site helps to reduce and control one of their largest expense line items. The Hettingas are constantly looking for ways to streamline their business while being environmentally responsible.

Environmental Stewardship

GH Dairy's solar asset will reduce its carbon footprint by nearly 250,000 pounds of carbon dioxide while ultimately avoiding the equivalent use of 119,000 pounds of coal annually.