SRP Press Release about Queen Creek Olive Mill solar project

Salt River Project (SRP) recently issued a press release about the Queen Creek Olive Mill solar project installed by Royal Solar of Arizona.  The release can be found on SRP’s website here:

Here is the text of the press release itself:


March 2, 2011


Queen Creek Olive Mill goes solar
Mill adds rooftop PV system with assistance from SRP solar incentive

What: As part of its commitment to the environment, the Queen Creek Olive Mill(Arizona’s only working olive farm and mill) is now getting some of its electricity from the sun. With the help of an incentive from the SRP EarthWise Solar commercial program, the business partnered with Royal Solar of Arizona to install a 50-kilowatt, roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) system. The system will offset up to 60 percent of the company’s electricity usage and feature a live real-time display of the electricity being produced by the PV system.At the base of the San Tan Mountains in Queen Creek’s storied farm community, the Queen Creek Olive Mill produces a variety of hand-crafted extra virgin olive oils using nine varieties of olives. Visitors to the farm can tour the operations and learn firsthand how olive oil is made. The gourmet marketplace offers local foods, unique gifts and casual gourmet dining amongst the olive trees.
Where: For more information and a tour of the Queen Creek Olive Mill and the PV system, contact SRP Media Relations Representative Patty Garcia-Likens at (602) 236-2500.
Why: The SRP EarthWise Solar Energy program has allowed thousands of SRP customers to install solar systems on their rooftops. Since the program began in 2004, more than 6,200 customers have participated in the programs. More than 1,600 residential customers and 100 commercial customers will benefit from the program this fiscal year. SRP has currently provided or reserved incentives for 36 megawatts of solar energy from customer solar systems.The SRP Board of Directors has established a goal that 15 percent of retail sales will be met by sustainable resources no later than 2025. Currently the sustainable portfolio is at 7.5 percent, which is ahead of schedule.
Also: The Olive Mill has been recycling paper, plastic and glass since its second year and provides five recycling stations throughout the store and grove to assist customer to separate trash and food stuffs. Other initiatives include:

  • Drip irrigation on main grove rather that flood irrigation
  • No pesticides or herbicides in use on the grove
  • Composting all processing byproducts “Everything that does not go into the bottle”
  • Composting kitchen waste
  • Growing their own herbs and vegetables in their organic garden
  • All organic fertilizer
  • Recyclable cups and washable dining utensils
  • Giftboxes made from post consumer waste paper
  • Hand driers instead of towels
  • LED lighting

The Olive Mill also produces a line of skincare made from olive oil that is natural, healthy and contains no artificial chemical and produces no byproducts when it’s made. “There is nothing on the ingredients list you can’t pronounce” quips Perry Rea.

Del Piero, the Mill’s Mediterranean bistro sources as much local produce, fruit and meat as possible from surrounding farms including Reece Farms, Schnepf Farms, Superstition Springs farm, The pork shop and others. The pruning from the trees are even used in some of the olive wood products sold in the store.

The distribution division of the Queen Creek Olive Mill, call QCOM Partners, is a pioneer in green food service. Its innovative oil delivery system uses a refillable 15 gallon drum with a pump on wheels that allow kitchens to reduce their waste packing to zero for their edible oils and vinegars.


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