Frito-Lay transforms California facility into sustainability showcase

Frito-Lay transforms California facility into showcase for sustainability

Updates include the replacement of diesel fleet assets with zero-emissions alternatives.

Frito-Lay recently announced the near completion of its Modesto, California, facility’s transformation into a showcase for sustainable manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution technologies. The project was started in 2019 and supported by the California Climate Investments (CCI) initiative, in conjunction with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), to demonstrate the sustainability benefits of zero-emission (ZE) and near-zero-emission (NZE) technologies. According to the company, this is the first Frito-Lay manufacturing facility to implement site-wide alternative fuel vehicles, on-site renewable energy generation, energy storage equipment and employee electric vehicle charging stations.

Now near completion, the transformation at Modesto is a template for and can help accelerate the continued proliferation of large-scale commercialization of ZE and NZE technologies at freight facilities and warehouses, magnifying emissions reduction benefits on a broad scale, the company says. The Frito-Lay Modesto site is one of the largest Frito-Lay manufacturing facilities in the United States at 500,000 square feet, sitting on 80 acres and employing more than 1,100 associates.

The upgrades in Modesto employ the latest in sustainable technology to reduce environmental impact, while also offering employees on-the-job training to maintain and operate the new high-tech equipment, the company says. These updates include the replacement of diesel fleet assets with ZE and NZE alternatives, fueling and charging infrastructure for the new fleet, and on-site renewable energy generation and storage. These technology upgrades are another step in achieving the company’s pep+ goals:

  • Three BYD 8Y electric yard tractors improve operations efficiency, and the associated tailpipe emission reductions contribute to our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain. Each yard tractor operates 20 hours per day and moves more than 150 trailers while only charging for two hours every day.
  • 1-megawatt solar carport with energy storage, which doubles the amount of solar generation capacity at the facility by supplementing the site’s 1-megawatt of rooftop solar panels.
  • 12 Crown Li-ion forklifts powered by lithium-ion batteries to improve energy and time efficiency.
  • 2.7 megawatt-hours of on-site battery storage to help reduce the site’s electricity costs and support grid capacity by reducing the facility’s electricity load on the grid during peak times.
  • Electric Tesla over-the-road semis and four Tesla 750kW charging stations to provide the semis with up to 400 miles of range in 1 hour of charging. PepsiCo and Frito-Lay are now the first company to have a commercial fleet featuring the electric semi.
  • 38 Volvo VNL compressed natural gas (CNG) tractors fueled by CNG with RNG attributes from a nearby, public access CNG fueling station owned and operated by Beyond6.
  • Six Peterbilt 220EV electric box trucks that provide zero emission last mile delivery into the Modesto community, reducing tailpipe emissions and allowing Frito-Lay to deliver products directly to retail customers.
  • Seven dual-head employee electric vehicle charging stations capable of charging up to 14 vehicles at one time. 

Additionally sourced by the company, in 2021 the Frito-Lay Modesto site achieved sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. On-site solar power provides up to 20% of the Modesto facility’s energy use daily.

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