Bimbo Bakeries Debuts Six California Microgrids

March 12, 2024
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this week at Bimbo Bakeries’ Montebello location, marking the launch of microgrids at six of the company's California facilities. The microgrids are expected to provide around 20% of the combined electricity needs for the sites.

Wander down the bread aisle at your local grocery store and you’re bound to see brands like Arnold, Ball Park, Boboli, Brownberry, Entenmann’s, Sara Lee and Thomas’ English muffins. These brands are owned by Bimbo Bakeries USA, a subsidiary of Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo and one of the largest baking companies in the world.

As of today, there’s a good chance that that loaf of bread or package of hot dog buns was baked with electricity from a microgrid.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held today at Bimbo Bakeries’ Montebello location, marking the launch of renewable energy microgrids at six of the company’s California facilities.

As part of the company’s energy conservation plan, the microgrids were developed through an energy services agreement with GreenStruxure, a joint venture of Schneider Electric.

GreenStruxure designed and built the six solar and battery storage microgrids, which it now operates and maintains.

“Our standardized and modular on-site microgrid supplies clean, reliable and affordable energy,” said Jose Lorenzo Lista, GreenStruxure’s CEO. He added that the system includes an artificial intelligence platform that offers energy and asset management and complete portfolio performance transparency for Bimbo.

Leading the way, sustainably

Bimbo Bakeries USA believes it has a responsibility to be a leader in sustainability, according to Chris Wolfe, senior director of environmental sustainability.

“Our goal is to protect and preserve the planet. The microgrid systems at these six bakeries are another step in lowering our overall carbon footprint,” he said in a statement.

Chris Wolfe discussed the Bimbo Bakeries microgrids during Microgrid 2022. Watch the video here.

The microgrids are expected to provide nearly 20% of the annual energy used by the six Bimbo bakeries and eliminate roughly 1,700 carbon dioxide equivalent tons per year.

The Montebello, California, location is home to the largest of the six microgrids. Bimbo’s bakeries in Placentia, Oxnard, San Luis Obispo, South San Francisco and Sacramento were the other sites in the state selected for microgrids.

With more than 60 bakeries across the country, Bimbo said it chose these six locations because of the amount of energy each consumes, as well as the increasing costs of utility electricity in California. The sites were also deemed to be those that could have the greatest impact on the company’s decarbonization efforts.

Grupo Bimbo aims to be net-zero   by 2050, Wolfe said in 2022 when the microgrid projects were first announced.

Other Bimbo bakery sites are under consideration for future microgrid developments.

“Our new microgrid systems will help contribute to California’s efforts to expand the use of renewable energy in the state,” said Kevin Yavari, senior manager of corporate sustainability for Bimbo Bakeries USA. “We support the state’s clean energy mission and will continue to look for ways we can back these efforts.”

About the Author

Kathy Hitchens | Special Projects Editor

I work as a writer and special projects editor for Microgrid Knowledge. I have over 30 years of writing experience, working with a variety of companies in the renewable energy, electric vehicle and utility sector, as well as those in the entertainment, education, and financial industries. I have a BFA in Media Arts from the University of Arizona and a MBA from the University of Denver.

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