Frito’s plant nears net zero
PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division focuses on renewable energy and water recovery.
BakingBusiness.com, Dec. 1, 2011
by Dan Malovany
Frito-Lay North America’s Casa Grande, AZ, facility has reached “near net zero,” or as far “off the grid” as possible, by running primarily on renewable energy sources and recycled water while producing almost no landfill waste.

The nearly 188,000-sq-ft snack manufacturing plant generates two-thirds of all energy used from renewable sources and works toward reducing greenhouse gases by 50%, relying on 75% recycled water and dropping its natural gas usage by 80%.

A water recovery and reuse system combines membrane bio reactor (MBR) and low-pressure reverse osmosis (LPRO) technologies to recycle and purify 50 to 75% of the plant’s wastewater.

Five solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, installed throughout the property, produce nearly 10 million kilowatt-hours of electrical power. The newly installed 60,000 lb-per-hour biomass boiler, which uses wood and agricultural waste as its combustion energy source, will produce the steam necessary for the plant and reduce natural gas usage by more than 80%, according to the company. The Casa Grande facility also sends less than 1% of its overall waste to a landfill through recycling and using food waste for cattle feed.