California bioengineering firm completes adjacent 715MWh solar array

Many businesses which claim 100 percent renewable power use actually do so through virtual purchase agreements in which they help finance off-site clean energy projects which may or may not be delivered directly to the facility.

A California-based bioengineering and bioproduction firm, however, is putting the on-site into renewables. ATUM announced the completion of a $1.5 million, 26,000-square-foot solar panel installation at its corporate headquarters and manufacturing site in Newark, CA.

Company CEO Jeremy Minshull said the solar array will generate all of the energy that the ATUM facilities need, or about 715MWh per year. The series of panels were installed at three carports adjacent to the ATUM headquarters.

“Delivering ATUM’s products and services requires a lot of electricity: from air conditioning the building to running the incubators, freezers, robots, and servers that power our business,” Minshull said.

Pleasanton, CA-based Cool Earth Solar installed the panels. They add capacity to an earlier rooftop solar installation.

In addition to the recently completed solar array, the site features LED lighting throughout, energy efficient elastomeric acrylic roofing, and a water recycling system. ATUM also participates in a cost-neutral waste-to-energy program and a composting program.

“Climate change is the biggest challenge facing us today,” said Minshull. “Every year we watch California’s wildfires grow bigger and more destructive and wonder what kind of world we are making for our children. ATUM’s solar power project is an investment in the future-for all of us.”

The new ATUM state-of-the-art bioproduction facility supports customers in the fields of protein pharmaceuticals to engineer new biological drugs to cure diseases, industrial biocatalysis to replace toxic chemical processes with biofriendly methods, and food industry to make better nourishment for customers across the globe.


(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International, which will be Nov. 18-21 in New Orleans. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and


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