Italian farmers use hill caves to cut energy cost

STORY: These apple farmers are storing some of

their harvest in caves to cut energy bills

Locator: Predaia, Italy

34 refrigeration areas were created

almost 1,000 feet beneath the orchards

The farmers can keep about 12%

of their produce here

(Mauro Erlicher, Facility manager)

''From an environmental impact level perspective, we have seen more advantages and returns. One of them is definitely in terms of energy levels, because according to a test done last year inside the cave and with an external fridge, the cave saved 32% of electricity, so a very important saving. This will increase over time, because instead of cooling and creating refrigerated areas as we do outside, i.e. with ''Sandwich'' panels, made of polyurethane and sheet metal inside and out, here we are using rock, leaving it as natural as possible."

The caves currently store around

30,000 tonnes of apples