By making use of excess engine heat, a new on-site power system will help a California-based natural food processor save 20% on its electric bill. Due for completion later this month, the combined-heat-and-power system at California Natural Products, Lathrop, Calif., will generate electricity when needed and use byproduct heat to process rice and other ingredients in the company’s round-the-clock production process.

The decision to implement the system was spurred on by a State of California incentive program that covers almost 33% of total costs for such projects. The company saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in upfront costs through the state incentive program.

Powered by a 1,350kW Deutz natural gas engine, the on-site power system provided by Encorp, Windsor, Colo., will run 24/7. The system is designed to supplement power from Pacific Gas & Electric and provide backup power for critical loads in the event of a utility brownout or blackout. It’s expected to produce more than 9.4 million kW/hr each year – enough energy to power 135,000 100W light bulbs for a year.