Chemical company expands green energy

Hydrite completes their first on-site 126 kW solar array, providing for roughly 16% of the facilities annual electricity consumption

VISALIA– A local chemical company has completed the installation of their first on-site solar array at their Visalia facility. 

Hydrite, a family-owned chemical distribution and manufacturing company established in 1929, holds several facilities throughout the United States. They have taken an additional step in the sustainability direction with the completion of a 126 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic system at the company’s Visalia location. 

“Our investment in solar power affirms Hydrite’s commitment to sustainability, which is an important component of our overall strategic plan,” Kevin Honkamp, Hydrite president said.

This sustainable source of power will continue to support growing production demands in the region for Hydrite’s food and agricultural solutions. The 126 kW will provide roughly 16% of the location’s annual electricity consumption, offsetting nearly 50 tons of CO2e emissions annually according to a Hydrite press release.

The solar project at the Visalia facility was completed by Kuubix Construction Group, a commercial solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) group based in Visalia. According to Hydrite representatives, the energy generated by the panels will be fed back into the plant, but they do not generate enough energy to offset the entire demand from the grid. 

Visalia’s electricity grid already prioritizes renewable energy, and the new solar array’s annual avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions is estimated to be the equivalent of driving more than 120,000 miles per the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

The solar panels are just one of several energy-efficiency projects Hydrite is working on. Hydrite continues to closely monitor energy use throughout its manufacturing and distribution operations to identify improvement initiatives and set quantitative environmental goals. According to the press release, Hydrite is one of the largest independent providers of chemicals and related services in the United States. Hydrite has a network of manufacturing facilities, warehouses and laboratories located in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, California and Texas with nearly 1,000 employees in more than 25 states.

Currently the company does not have solar energy at any of their other locations, but according to a representative, they “have very ambitious plans” to expand their solar capabilities. 

Hydrite representatives said the company closely monitors several types of energy used throughout company operations. Those operations include natural gas and electricity consumed at all manufacturing facilities, diesel fuel used by their fleet of trucks and gasoline supports their sales functions. 

We recognize the responsibility we have as a member of the global community to be energy responsible,” a Hydrite representative said. 

To maintain environmental impact transparency, Hydrite routinely communicates sustainability performance to customers and key stakeholders through their sustainability report and other reporting platforms.

“Understanding and improving our energy initiatives helps us work towards a sustainable future for our company and the communities that we operate in,” Joe Weishar, Hydrite chief operating officer  said.

Hydrite offers expertise in chemical manufacturing and distribution, food and dairy sanitation, organic processing, liquid sulfites, foam control and water treatment chemistries.

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