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February 11, 2010 at 12:00 AM EST

Green is Gold at Limoneira’s Solar Orchard

Green is Gold at Limoneira’s Solar Orchard

Santa Paula, Calif.--Limoneira Company's solar orchard  recently achieved the coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is an internationally recognized, third party, green building certification system that verifies a building was designed and built using strategies to improve performance in energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Limoneira’s solar orchard, with its 6,400 photovoltaic modules and observation deck on 5.5 acres, is the first private sector LEED Gold project in Ventura County.

“We are thrilled to have received this designation,” says Harold Edwards, Limoneira’s CEO. “Our county’s sustainability profile is being raised, and we are proud to be making clean and profitable investments. Our solar orchard not only is ahead with respect to return-on-investment calculations, it’s been a great educational tool for visiting schools."

Tomas Gonzalez, Limoneira's manager for sustainability projects concurs. “The LEED certification process is very comprehensive and rigorous, which makes this achievement all the more gratifying. The solar orchard has been a great project for us. We track the system’s efficiency daily, and to date, the system has eliminated nearly 3 million pounds (1,350 metric tons) of greenhouse gases. It’s been a lot of fun too. We recently received seven English miniature sheep, which are doing their part for sustainability. They graze among the solar panels to control the native Santa Clara Valley vegetation. School kids love them. We’ve partnered with Future Farmers of America in their care, and we’ve given them some notoriety on Facebook. All in all, good clean fun."

To arrange a tour of the solar orchard for schools, individuals or clubs, call
(866) 321-9995 or visit www.limoneiratours.com.