What is FT’s Green Energy Strategy?
Cheese making is an energy hungry process due to the need to heat, cool, and pump large amounts of water and milk. In addition, a lot of cooling is required to maintain a cool environment in the caves plus cool our walk in storage areas, retail store dairy case and drink fridge.
Taking this into account, our energy strategy was to first, design a super-efficient facility. We achieved this by using materials that would provide us with high insulation value. We also put in place over 89 zoned-based sensors and automatic controls to micro-manage heating, cooling and electricity requirements. Minimal automation in our dairy keeps our need for hydro power down.
Our second priority was to leverage geo-thermal technology and find a way to heat and cool the facility and its systems simultaneously. Much like an ice hockey rink would do. We installed a 9000 sq ft geothermal field and a 12 ton heat exchanger. Our geothermal system can pre-heat water used for processing plus heat the building when its cold. At the same time, it can also cool our caves, walk ins, the dairy case and the drink fridge. Essentially, we use water based cooling systems. We also decided to bury our aging caves so that maintaining their termperature would require less energy.
Finally, we power our pumps, lights and computers with 2 renewable sources of energy: Wind and Solar. Our array can generate 800-1200 KwH per month. And for any supplemental power we need on site (when wind & solar is not enough), we use Bullfrog Power which sources their power primarily from wind power installations.