Solar energy is clean and renewable. And one company is using it to manufacture a snack that lives up to its name. At Frito Lay's SunChips plant in Modesto, California, 192 solar collectors gather energy all day long. The curved mirrors focus that energy on a large pipe filled with water.
Dave Haft, Frito Lay: "A series of parabolic solar concentrators raises the temperature of that water to almost 500 degrees under pressure, and we're using that to generate the steam required to make the SunChips that are manufactured in the Modesto plant."
The solar panels will help produce enough steam to help make all the SunChips at this facility, for the entire year. This plant is part of a growing trend within many corporations and government to use and expand renewable energy usage.
Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar announced new measures to expedite solar energy projects on federal lands.
An Interior Department study to be completed by next year will identify where and how these solar energy zones will be used.