Frito-Lay Snack Food Plant Achieves Ambitious Net-Zero Goal

Frito-Lay Snack Food Plant Achieves Ambitious Net-Zero Goal
Frito-Lay Casa Grande, Arizona, USA
Design-build delivery enabled Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, Inc., to meet its renewable energy, process water reuse and schedule objectives in Arizona.
Our clients are pi­o­neers in re­duc­ing their op­er­a­tional im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment through water con­ser­va­tion, en­ergy use re­duc­tion and waste min­i­miza­tion. In Casa Grande, Ari­zona, an am­bi­tious pro­ject is al­low­ing Frito-Lay's snack food man­u­fac­tur­ing plant to run en­tirely on re­new­able en­ergy and re­cy­cled water while pro­duc­ing nearly zero waste. As part of this ini­tia­tive, CDM Smith de­signed and built a 650,000-gal­lon-per-day process water treat­ment and re­cov­ery sys­tem that re­cy­cles up to 75 per­cent of the plant’s process water—en­abling Frito-Lay to re­duce its an­nual water use by 100 mil­lion gal­lons.
of process water recycled per day
of daytime electricity produced by photovoltaic solar panels
The advanced purifi­ca­tion system incor­po­rates screening, sedi­men­ta­tion, membrane bioreactor (MBR), activated carbon, ultraviolet, low pressure reverse osmosis, water stabi­liza­tion and chlorine disin­fec­tion to treat the effluent to U.S. Envi­ron­men­tal Protection Agency primary and secondary drinking water quality standards. Meeting these standards enables Frito-Lay to safely reuse its process water to wash and move potatoes and corn. This is the first U.S. food processing plant that produces drinking water quality process water to be reused in food production.

The facility also freed up land, previously used for the pre-treatment and land application of wastewater, for a 5-megawatt photo­voltaic solar system that produces almost all of the plant’s daytime electricity needs. CDM Smith completed the entire photo­voltaic solar instal­la­tion, including 36 acres of photo­voltaic panels on dual-axis ground-mount systems, single-axis concen­trated photo­voltaic collectors and dish collectors with Stirling© engine generators.
With 80 percent of construction debris recycled for beneficial reuse, the facility now sends less than 1 percent of its overall waste to landfill.
The Casa Grande fa­cil­ity was the first snack food man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity in the United States to be awarded LEED® Ex­ist­ing Build­ing Gold Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from the U.S. Green Build­ing Coun­cil, thanks to ed­u­ca­tional el­e­ments, en­hanced process lay­out and en­ergy-ef­fi­cient mo­tors. Ad­di­tion­ally, with 80 per­cent of con­struc­tion de­bris re­cy­cled for ben­e­fi­cial reuse, de­wa­tered potato peel­ings and corn ker­nels sent to local farms for feed­stock, and re­cov­ered potato starch sold for other man­u­fac­tur­ing uses, the fa­cil­ity now sends less than 1 per­cent of its over­all waste to land­fill.
Beyond streamlining design and construction, the design-build process integrated CDM Smith's and Frito-Lay's technical engineers to efficiently select the best components for this first-of-its-kind facility. 3D/4D design also brought the plant's complex technology to life in real time and allowed for a future computerized maintenance management system to maintain equipment and track costs—adding to the client’s confidence in this sustainable water reuse system.
Timothy Rynders Timothy Rynders
We are proud to have helped Frito-Lay and PepsiCo, Inc. meet their sustainability goals and reduce their environmental impact.
Tim Rynders, PE Climate Resilience & Drinking Water / Treatment Process & Piloting Discipline Leader

Did you know?

This is the first U.S. food man­u­facturing plant to reuse process water safely in pro­duc­tion.

CWAA U.S. Water Prize
The Clean Water America Alliance (CWAA) awarded the project the U.S. Water Prize.

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