Appealing Green Energy
07 Sep 2009
Steven Gill and his brother David have been cultivating and processing onions for 25 years but now, they have taken the lead when it comes to green energy.
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Steven Gill and his brother David have been cultivating and processing onions for 25 years but now, they have taken the lead when it comes to green energy. The growers, who employ over 400 people, are no longer throwing away the excess tops, tails and peel. Instead, they have found a unique way to convert the waste into energy: a fuel cell power plant that runs on onion juice.
True to the company motto, Waste Not, Want Not, Gills squeeze every last drop out of every piece of peel, converting it to biogas and then using it to power the processing facility. With their state of the art anaerobic digester, Gills have been cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by 30,000 tonnes a year ñ the equivalent of taking 5,000 cars off the road.
In just a day, Gills can produce 30,000 gallons of onion juice. By converting it into 600 kilowatts of electricity ñ enough to power 460 homes ñ they are saving the company over £400,000 a year. Gills have also reduced their consumption of diesel by eliminating the need to haul the waste back into the soil. Additionally, by converting their trucks to more efficient models, the company is now using 70,000 gallons less fuel per year.
Gills, who recently earned recognition as a Cool Planet Project by The Climate Registry, continue to find ways to make the company greener. ‘Achieving zero waste and improving water conservation are both achievable goals,’ says Steven Gill. ‘We’re excited about our future.’
Contact: Gills Onions, 1051 South Pacific Avenue, Oxnard, California 93030, USA
Steven Gill. Photo: © Gills Onions
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