US food group Del Monte Foods has indicated that it expects to generate savings of US$500,000 this year and $25m over the next 30 years through the instillation of solar panels at two Californian manufacturing plans.

The system is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 95m pounds over 30 years, which is equivalent to planting 9,800 acres of trees, the company said.

Del Monte's Hanford plant is hosting a 1.2-megawatt SunPower solar installation, while the company's Kingsburg plant will be home to a 759-kilowatt installation.

"With this new solar power system at our Hanford and Kingsburg plants, we recognize Del Monte's continuing commitment to environmental sustainability and the communities in which we work, a commitment that literally extends from the fields to the grocery shelf," said Del Monte Foods chairman and CEO Rick Wolford.