Denali, a nationwide organic waste management company, celebrates with the California Energy Commission (CEC) a new infrastructure that makes food waste diversion in the state more resilient and sustainable.  Denali leadership and CEC representatives will cut a ribbon on March 10 at Denali’s Coachella, California facility to mark the activation of a large solar array and integrated microgrid with battery storage. This system allows the facility to continue operations even when there are regional blackouts and will provide enough power to cover one-third of the electricity used at the facility. Operations at the facility center around recycling food waste into useful products, thereby keeping these materials out landfills.

Denali’s Coachella plant is key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with food waste and agriculture in Southern California. Annually, the site’s organic waste recycling activities generate more than 650,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent in emissions reductions. This is equivalent to taking 140,000 cars off the road, according to the U.S. EPA’s greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator.

The Coachella facility handles hundreds of thousands of tons each year of agricultural waste like cotton seed, bakery waste like expired potato chips, and used cooking oil from restaurants in Southern California and Arizona. Cotton seed and bakery waste are converted into feed for cattle. The used cooking oil is refined into biodiesel that fuels California cars and trucks while reducing air quality impacts (biodiesel burns much cleaner than conventional fossil-fuel diesel.)

Denali employs 125 team members in Coachella. Denali has operated the plant since early 2022, when it acquired Imperial Western Products, a third-generation family business founded in the Coachella Valley in the 1970s. Denali is proud to continue Imperial Western Products’ tradition of being a reliable employer and steadfast community partner in the valley. “Benefitting the environment is at the core of what we do every day here in Coachella, but this solar project takes that one step further. We can confidently say that this is one of the most energy efficient agricultural facilities in California,” said Jason Cabanyog, who oversees the facility as Denali’s West Region Vice President of Operations.

“We are grateful for the California Energy Commission’s support. This upgrade benefits not only our company, but also our customers – the farmers and ranchers of California who rely on our feed products to produce food for the country,” said Todd Mathes, CEO of Denali. The solar and microgrid project is the second improvement at the Coachella facility funded with the assistance of the California Energy Commission. In 2018, Imperial Western Products received a grant to upgrade dozens of machines at the site with more energy efficient models. The result was a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at the site.

For more information,