The Sun Is Keeping Ice Cream Cold For All Of Western Canada
EDMONTON — Talk about sweet, sweet irony.
The Sun Is Keeping Ice Cream Cold For All Of Western Canada. An array of 1,860 solar panels was just installed at The Ice Cream Depot; a 30,000-square-foot deep freezer in Nisku, Alta., south of Edmonton.
The privately funded setup generates 500kW, or half a megawatt, of electricity; and will help the storage warehouse and distributer reduce its carbon footprint by 512 tonnes each year.
According to President Mike Rogiani, it’ll save the company tens of thousands throughout the year.
“We wanted to lower our carbon footprint because we’re a power pig,” he told CTV News Edmonton.
“Our energy costs continually go up therefore we wanted to be able to mitigate those costs.”
At one point in the first two weeks of the array’s operation, it was providing 90 percent of the facility’s power keeping the ice cream cold. However, That ratio will fluctuate depending on the season and even time of day.
“On a hot sunny day, the air conditioning load for the freezer and the cooler unit is going to be the highest. That’s also the time of the day and of the year the solar array is going to produce the most power,” explained Curtis Craig, founder and president of installer Inferno Solar.
Rogiani considers his company a trendsetter in the food and distribution industries.
“All the Amazons of the world and everyone else, we want to see you come on board now and follow in our footsteps as a small company.”
According to Inferno, the array at The Ice Cream Depot is the seventh-largest in western Canada and fourth-largest built with private money.
It’s not the company’s only green initiative. The Ice Cream Depot also boasts 20,000 square feet of refrigerated and dry storage space in Nisku. Above all the refrigeration system is carbon dioxide-based, rather than ammonia; which is better for the environment and more efficient.
Among a dozen brands it distributes, the company ships the Canadian Chapman’s label, Blue Bunny, Da Vinci Gelato, and its own made-in-house Mike’s Cups to B.C. through Manitoba.
–Alex Antoneshyn CTVNewsEdmonton.ca Digital Journalist