Last week, Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corporation, Hollar & Greene Produce and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives officially launched an innovative, collaborative beneficial electrification project that will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and provide a more energy efficient way to transport produce. The eTRU project, which stands for electric transport refrigeration unit, uses electricity to power refrigeration units used for cold-storage shipping, instead of diesel. This new and innovative technology is the first of its kind for a North Carolina electric cooperative and will serve as a model for future beneficial electrification projects.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with this project,” said Travis Bode, manager of economic development at Surry-Yadkin EMC. “It takes an outstanding member like Hollar & Greene Produce willing to take this journey with us to get from start to finish. The results of the project are already delivering impressive results on fuels savings and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”
At a ribbon-cutting event to unveil the eTRU project, representatives from Surry-Yadkin EMC, Hollar & Greene Produce and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives gathered with local economic development officials and community members to learn more about the project and its impact on the company’s transportation operations. Hollar & Greene gave a demonstration of the eTRU technology on one of their trucks, switching over from diesel fuel to electricity, showing how the process works and the noticeable reduction in noise, another benefit of eTRUs.
“Surry-Yadkin EMC and Travis have played a critical role in the development of our electrical infrastructure, and we cannot express our gratitude enough for their efforts,” said Tony Greene, vice president of transportation for Hollar & Greene Produce. “Their dedication and hard work have made it possible for us to move forward with our vision of a more sustainable future. We are thrilled to announce the early success of this eTRU project and can’t wait to see the positive impact it will have on our company as well as the communities we serve.”
The installation of eTRU technology allows Hollar & Greene Produce to reduce the amount of diesel needed when staging its refrigerated trailers between hauls, saving money on fuel costs, and reducing carbon emissions while maintaining the high quality produce it is known to provide to end consumers.
“This eTRU project is a perfect example of how cooperatives working with their members can develop solutions that bring benefits to members and communities,” said Jim Musilek, vice president of innovation and business development for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “With the success of this project, we are excited not only about this partnership but for the larger-scale deployment of this technology across our state and how it will help power a brighter future for generations to come.”
As beneficial electrification technology continues to emerge, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are identifying new ways to electrify agricultural and commercial processes to increase efficiency and productivity and reduce costs and emissions for their members.