United Natural Food Invests in Texas Solar Market with Meridian


Texas has been a growing market for the solar industry. Texas is blessed with clear, sunny weather — and with the cost of solar continuing to decline, commercial solar is starting to take off there. Meridian solar has been working in Texas to expand commercial solar for the past eight years. It has seen the transition to a more solar-friendly market and expects continued growth into the future.

To help make this happen, Meridian Solar continues to partner with commercial customers in the state. United Natural Foods (UNFI) is the most recent of these. Meridian has built a 655 kW rooftop solar PV array on UNFI’s 590,000-square-foot distribution center in Lancaster, Texas. Meridian Solar was responsible for the design, engineering, procurement, and implementation of the system.

“Meridian demonstrated a clear understanding of the market, the permitting and approval process, and return calculations necessary to undertake a project of this scale. They’ve been a pleasure to work with and a great partner for us on this solar project,” said Tom Dziki, Chief Human Resources and Sustainability Officer at UNFI.

Using energy harnessed from the sun, UNFI can go about its business while adhering to its corporate responsibility commitment. UNFI is no stranger to investments in sustainability. Through the company’s green building, fleet efficiency, water conservation, and solar energy initiatives, UNFI demonstrates that large, publicly traded companies can make a difference. UNFI’s new solar investment in Lancaster, which is the fifth solar energy system that UNFI has procured, is expected to generate an additional 1,021 MWh of clean energy annually, bringing UNFI’s total renewable energy production to over 5 thousand MWh per year.

In addition to reducing its electrical usage from the grid, UNFI will also be accumulating environmental savings with each kWh generated. For example, during the first year of operations, UNFI’s Lancaster plant is projected to generate 1,021 MWh. This clean energy is the equivalent replacement of 704 tons of CO2, the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 148 passenger vehicles, or the annual energy use of 64 homes.

“UNFI is an ideal partner for Meridian Solar. It is inspiring to understand all of the efforts put forth by UNFI to be a socially responsible corporation and leaders in sustainability,” said Andrew McCalla, Meridian Solar’s President and Founder. “We look forward to furthering our partnership with UNFI to expand their renewable portfolio and help them meet their sustainability goals.”