UNFI to unveil solar-power facility this month

The 640-sacre facility with 800,000 solar panels will provide enough energy to power more than 14,000 nearby homes in North Carolina.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) is investing in a 640-acre solar facility in North Carolina that will create a renewable energy source for neighboring homes.

The site with 800,000 solar panels will create enough energy to provide power to more than 14,000 homes. The project expects to in service later this month and is being developed in collaboration with solar project developer Pine Gates Renewables (Pine Gate) as well as U.S. Bank, investing in Trent River Solar, a 108.5 megawatt (MW) solar facility located in Jones County, North Carolina.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to sponsor Trent River Solar and are pleased to work with Pine Gate Renewables and U.S. Bank to bring this project to life to create local clean energy and jobs,” said Steven L. Spinner, chairman and CEO. “UNFI has work ahead of us to reduce our emissions and we look forward to applying knowledge learned from this project to our pursuits of climate action.”

Pine Gate is a leading renewable energy company focused on project development and strategic financing of utility-scale solar and storage sites throughout the United States. It currently manages 770MW of operational assets, with more than 12GW in active development and has raised over $2 billion in project capital to date. The company’s Pine Gate Impact initiative contributes to multiple non-profit organizations aimed at improving the environment and local communities. 

Additionally, in May, UNFI added more than 50 all-electric transport refrigerated trailer units to a fleet in California. Through its 2020 ESG initiatives, UNFI piloted the all-electric solar powered refrigerated trailer in California, formed a team to confront food waste and upped its CDP Climate Change Score to an A- through discussions and actions aimed at reducing emissions and mitigating climate risks.