California Custom Processing Solar Steam Boiler


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Energy Commission
Document Title
California Custom Processing Solar Steam Boiler
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The purpose of this project is to install a Sunvapor solar boiler system at the existing California Custom Processing (CCP) facility to reduce use of its natural gas boilers, thereby reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel costs. CCP is a certified organic processor of raw almonds, and the plant uses steam instead of chemicals for blanching, scalding, pasteurizing, and slicing almonds. The project will involve installing six Sunvapor SPTC-10TM parabolic trough solar collector arrays in parallel loops on approximately 4.0 acres of vacant land adjacent to the north side of the existing CCP facility. The area for the solar collectors is sufficiently flat so that site grading will not be required; the height of the foundations supporting the collectors will be adjusted to compensate for surface variations in specific areas. The parabolic trough collectors will track the sun along a horizontal axis to maximize energy yield. At maximum rotation, the collectors will stand approximately 15.8 feet tall, and will be close to 19 feet wide at their tops. A fire road will be constructed along the perimeter of the CCP property and around the solar collector field, and a fire hydrant will be installed at the north side of site. Electrical power and signal conduits will be installed in trenches within the collector field boundaries. Sunvapor has designed a process using pressurized water as the heat transfer fluid instead of thermal oil. The heat from the closed thermohydraulic circuit is transported to the supply side of the unfired steam generator (USG) heat exchanger that will be installed inside the boiler room within the existing CCP building. A pair of parallel collector water pipes will be installed above grade to run between the solar collector field and the boiler room. A wind fence will be installed along the periphery of the collector field. In addition to the USG, a collector water circulation pump and electric motor, master controller, and expansion tank will be installed inside the boiler room. At peak sun conditions, the solar boiler will provide 100 percent of the plant’s steam load, thereby becoming a zero-emissions facility. Solar steam will take priority during off-peak conditions, with natural gas boilers providing auxiliary steam. Production will be shifted to daytime hours to minimize use of natural gas. With an estimated annual yield of 147,327 therms, the solar boiler will generate at least 40 percent of the plant’s annual process heat demand. The estimated net GHG reduction is 774 million tons per year. The calculated fuel cost savings is $102,935 per year. The NOx emissions reduction is calculated to be 717.7 pounds per year. The project is consistent with the California Energy Commission (CEC) mission of leading the state to a 100 percent clean energy future.

Contact Information

Kaycee Chang
Agency Name
California Energy Commission
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency

Agency Name
California Custom Processing, LLC
Contact Types
Project Applicant


Other Location Info
3211 Aviation Drive

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Cal. Code Regs., tit 14, §§ 15303 (Class 3) and 15311 (Class 11)
Reasons for Exemption
The parabolic trough solar collector arrays will be installed on the north half of the CCP property, which is a single 8.49-acre parcel (APN 013-200-014). The City of Madera (City) will require the applicant to satisfy its requirements to obtain a ministerial building permit for the proposed installation; there is no requirement for a local discretionary permit for this project.


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