For the last 14 years, GrandyOats has been producing its granola products from a historic dairy farm in Maine. However, the time has come for the company to move into a larger home, and they are going in solar style. Keeping with the spirit of the company, they are moving to an abandoned elementary school, which has been closed for the last 6 years.
As part of the renovation of the facility, the company has contracted with ReVision Energy for a solar system that will meet 100 percent of the company’s energy needs.
“Repurposing and revitalizing is part of who we are,” said Aaron Anker, chief granola officer, GrandyOats. “After 14 years operating out of one nontraditional space, a 1910 dairy barn, it’s no surprise we aren’t moving to a large commercial factory. Like the GrandyOats barn, the Hiram Elementary School is empty, rural, and could have been easily overlooked. We are putting it to good use, purposely restoring it and adding solar panels to give it life. It’s important to us to produce in rural Maine and employ rural Mainers.”
In partnership with ReVision Energy, GrandyOats is going net zero energy. This means that they will be producing all of the energy that they are using. They will be the first food production company in New England to do so.
Anker said, “Going off the grid has long been a GrandyOats goal…. Maine is our home and its rivers and mountains have shaped the spirit of our company. By going 100 percent solar we’re doing our part right here at home.”
The system will power 100 percent of GrandyOats’ energy needs, including ovens, computers, forklifts, lights, heating and cooling. The installation will include an 80 kW system and will generate over 95,000 kWh of clean, renewable electricity per year.
“GrandyOats will be the first net zero food production facility in New England, which is an incredibly powerful response to the carbon pollution problem confronting humankind,” said Phil Coupe, co-founder, ReVision Energy. “We are proud to be partnering with GrandyOats on this project because it shows the world that it is possible to run a high volume manufacturing facility in a relatively harsh northern climate without the need for oil, propane or natural gas.”