Local meat processing plant implements solar power

Wisconsin State Farmer
The custom modular loading dock system at Nordik Meats is equipped with a solar powered hydraulic lift.

Nordik Meats, Inc., A Westby meat processing plant, has installed a custom modular loading dock system. This solar powered hydraulic lift manufactured by Dockzilla Co., was specifically designed to fit the needs of locally owned Nordik Meats and their loading/unloading requirements without requiring power from their facility.

According to Ross Williams, general manager at Norkik Meats, the installation is just one cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that the plant is implementing this year to help reduce consumption of fossil fuels and shrink their carbon footprint.  

“As a meat processing plant, we utilize a lot of energy for our refrigeration units and installing solar powered equipment is part of our long term plan to work toward a carbon neutral energy position and focus on energy savings,” Williams said. "Our investors have always been keen on sustainability and the installation of this dock is just step one in the direction we are heading to harness renewable energy.”  

The loading dock model, recently installed in early January, features a solar powered hydraulic system that makes it easy to adjust the dock height to accommodate any trailer when loading or unloading a delivery. Besides having safety measures in place on the dock such as handrails, gates and no pinch points, the portable dock is engineered to handle impacts created by trucks backing into the dock.

“By adding solar powered operation to the loading dock, Dockzilla was able to help Nordik Meats meet its impressive energy efficiency goals without structural changes to their property,” said Grant Leum, a Westby native and the Founder/Chief Engineer at Dockzilla Co. “Safety is a huge concern at any loading dock, which is why our modular loading equipment is architecturally-designed per OSHA standards.”

The company, based out of  Minnetonka, MN, is an international loading and logistics equipment company that engineers and manufactures heavy steel loading docks to fit any operational challenge without the need for conventional construction.  

Nordik Meats has been in business since the spring of 2020 and continues to make building enhancements as their business expands to meet the demand for local beef and pork processing.

“As our company continues to grow, we are excited to add building features that will make efficiency enhancements for our vendors, customers and employees,” Willams said.

Future plans include installing solar panels that could help recover 80-90% of the buildings energy use.

“Making these types of investments will decrease our carbon footprint, reduce energy costs in the long term and improve our environment. That is win-win situation for all of us,” he said.