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Caterpillar goes green with solar energy

Posted at 7:07 PM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-27 22:07:22-04
One of the world's largest construction supply companies is going greener. Caterpillars' Tucson Proving Ground launched a renewable energy micro-grid today. The grid uses hundreds of solar panels to help save energy and protect the environment.
 
"To run this facility it's more than a quarter million gallons of diesel fuel every year," said facility manager, Tony Cazzato.
 
The 6,300 acre testing site near green valley has been off the power grid for 25 years. Now, they have a clean alternative to diesel fuel. 
 
"Today, we're excited to introduce our renewable energy source, a solar micro grid."
 
About 500 solar panels are set to reduce their diesel consumption by 33%.
 
"That also translates into more than 1,000 tons of CO2 that we're gonna save every year," said Cazzato.
 
The technology is also pushing toward a powered-up future across the globe.
 
"I think the biggest challenge that we have today is not being able to get affordable energy out to the masses," said Rick Rathe, general manager of Caterpillar New Ventures. "Theres a million people that don't have access to energy. Today, we're able to afford to put in village microgrids, for small villagers at a much lower cost, and it's affordable and develops the economy."
 
The cost savings trickle down to their clients, too.
 
"What we're seeing is a decreased cost to the customer, but also a decrease in carbon footprint and fossil-fuel usage," said Rathe.
 
Caterpillar says they hope to add even more panels to their micro grid in the future.