Emmi Roth, a Fitchburg, Wis.-based producer of specialty cheese, announced the completion of a solar panel installation at its Platteville, Wis., plant. The installation comprises 1,602 JA 330-watt panels on the roof of the cheese production facility.

Managed by Eagle Point Solar out of Dubuque, Iowa, the installation will reduce the company’s carbon footprint by eliminating 14,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the environment — equal to saving 1.4 million gallons of gas, recycling 43,000 tons of waste or reducing coal usage by 13 million pounds, Emmi Roth said.

“There are many companies trying to live up to sustainability goals,” said Jim Pullen, general manager at Eagle Point Solar. “Emmi Roth is part of a group that actually makes these goals a reality and invests in the environment.”

The solar panels will supply 15% of the annual electric use of the cheesemaking plant.

“We want to have the lowest possible carbon footprint we could have in the industry,” said Tim Omer, president and managing director at Emmi Roth. “This is another step in our commitment to focus on sustainable initiatives, so it’s very exciting for all of us here at Emmi Roth.”

The company said it also recently invested in a new anaerobic digester at the same location in an effort to reduce operational costs and remain environmentally responsible for the waste being produced during its cheesemaking operations. The investment in the anaerobic technology will also allow Emmi Roth to utilize biogas as a source of energy in the future.