By Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

General Mills has activated the juice on its first solar powered facility in the United States, the Golden Valley-based food company said Friday.

Installation of solar panels at the company's Methuen, Mass. yogurt production facility is now complete, and will supply about 80 percent of the warehouse's power in summer and half that in the other seasons, General Mills (NYSE: GIS) said in a news release.

The panels, designed and installed by North Andover, Mass.-based Nexamp Inc., generate enough electricity to power about a dozen homes, and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of 10 cars per year.

General Mills is also building a biomass burner at its Fridley oat-milling facility, where the combustion of oat hulls will generate steam to heat the plant and make oat flour.

A time-lapse video of the installation can be viewed on YouTube.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010