One-megawatt solar carport with energy storage was installed by Frito-Lay as part of the technology upgrades.  -  Photo: Frito-Lay

One-megawatt solar carport with energy storage was installed by Frito-Lay as part of the technology upgrades.

Photo: Frito-Lay

Frito-Lay announced the near completion of its Modesto, California, facility’s transformation into a showcase for sustainable manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution technologies, according to the company's news release.

The project was started in 2019 and supported by the California Climate Investments (CCI) initiative, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to demonstrate the sustainability benefits of zero-emission (ZE) and near-zero-emission (NZE) technologies.

The Frito-Lay Modesto site is 500,000 square feet, sits on 80 acres, and employs more than 1,100 associates.

The facility is the first Frito-Lay manufacturing facility to implement site-wide alternative fuel vehicles, on-site renewable energy generation, energy storage equipment, and employee electric vehicle charging stations

“At Frito-Lay and PepsiCo, we are dedicated to operating within our planetary bounds and inspiring positive change. The transformation at Modesto is in direct support of our PepsiCo Positive (pep+) commitment to building a circular and inclusive value chain and achieving net zero emissions by 2040,” said Steven Williams, CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America. “To date, the Frito-Lay Modesto transformation has resulted in a 91 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from direct fleet operations, or 5,250 metric tons of GHG emissions. If the standard 4-person compact SUV drives on average 15,000 miles per year with an average MPG of 25.5, this reduction is the equivalent of removing just over 1,000 standard compact SUVs from the road.”

Modesto's upgrades include replacing diesel fleet assets with ZE and NZE alternatives, fueling and charging infrastructure for the new fleet, and on-site renewable energy generation and storage.

These technology upgrades include:

  • One-megawatt solar carport with energy storage doubles the amount of solar generation capacity at the facility by supplementing the site’s 1-megawatt of rooftop solar panels. 
  • 12 Crown Li-ion forklifts powered by lithium-ion batteries to improve energy and time efficiency.
  • 2.7 megawatt-hours of on-site battery storage to help reduce the site’s electricity costs and support grid capacity by reducing the facility’s electricity load on the grid during peak times. 
  • Electric Tesla over-the-road semis and four Tesla 750kW charging stations provide the semis with up to 400 miles of range in one hour of charging. PepsiCo and Frito-Lay are now the first company to have a commercial fleet featuring the electric semi.
  • 38 Volvo VNL compressed natural gas (CNG) tractors fueled by CNG with RNG attributes from a nearby, public access CNG fueling station owned and operated by Beyond6.
  • Six Peterbilt 220EV electric box trucks that provide zero emission last mile delivery into the Modesto community, reducing tailpipe emissions and allowing Frito-Lay to deliver products directly to retail customers.
  • Seven dual-head employee electric vehicle charging stations capable of charging up to 14 vehicles at one time. 

“CARB’s approach to fighting local air pollution is to work with industry and other partners on projects that demonstrate how a fleet can protect public health by shifting to clean vehicle technologies and equipment. This includes zero-emission trucks and related charging infrastructure,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, CARB executive officer. “The transformation of the Frito-Lay facility in Modesto is a notable example of this approach. It also makes the case to other fleets and freight facilities in California — and throughout the nation — that a shift by companies and fleets to the cleanest trucks and equipment directly improves the air for communities adjacent to these facilities.”

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