Energy Efficient & Solar Powered
We operate Real Pickles out of a solar powered, energy-efficient, 6,500 square foot organic pickling facility on Wells Street in Greenfield, MA.
In 2009, we purchased a century-old industrial building in Greenfield, MA and transformed it into a new home for Real Pickles. We made significant building renovations to minimize energy use and to prepare the space for certified organic food production. Two community loan funds – Franklin County Community Development Corporation and Equity Trust – helped to make the project possible, along with financing from our local community bank. The move from the Western MA Food Processing Center (where we got our start) to our own organic pickling facility allowed us to expand significantly in the years following, and we look forward to staying here for many years to come!
Minimal Energy Use
We are proud of the many steps we have taken to make our facility as energy efficient as possible, including:
- High efficiency lighting, including LEDs and high output T5 fluorescents,
- Occupancy sensors and photo sensors (adjacent to skylights) to keep our lights operating only when needed,
- On-demand, tankless water heater,
- Freeaire system for our walk-in refrigerator, utilizing outside air during the winter months to keep things cool and reducing electric usage by an estimated 60%,
- R40 ceiling insulation and mini-split heat pumps in our fermentation rooms.
We are excited to be supplying the majority of our electricity from solar panels installed on our rooftop!
Our efforts to maximize energy efficiency in the course of our building renovations have resulted in remarkably low energy requirements for a commercial facility of our size. In 2011 and 2019, we turned our efforts toward deriving as much of our remaining energy needs as possible from clean, renewable sources. We hired Pioneer Valley Photovoltaics (a fellow worker co-operative that shares our building) to install two photovoltaic systems on our roof (17 kW in 2011 and 31 kW in 2019). Our solar array provides much of the electricity needs for both businesses!
By making our facility energy efficient and solar powered, we have taken small but important steps as a business to help move our society forward in pursuit of cleaner air, greater community self-reliance, and a more stable global climate.