It's almost that time of year again, El Paso!

A time where the smell of roasting chiles hit the air! That's right, it's almost Hatch Green Chile season!

We all know that a Labor Day weekend isn't complete without the Hatch Chile festival. And if you're like me, then you love Hatch green chile; but if you're also like me, then you are unaware that actually roasting the chile is not exactly environmentally friendly.

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According to Sandia National Laboratories, roasting green chile with propane results in approximately 7,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide — the equivalent of driving 1,700 cars for a year! That's why Sandia engineer Kenneth Armijo is experimenting with a greener approach, using concentrated sunlight to roast chile with flavorful results.

That's right, Hatch Green Chile is going green! By roasting chile with concentrated sunlight Armijo was able to create the roasted deliciousness we all love. All it took was the assistance of several Sandia engineers, technologists and inters.

Armijo got that steel tumbling drum that roasts the pepper on top of a 200 foot tower at Sandia's National Solar Thermal Test Facility and used 38 to 42 of the 212 heliostats that were already there to roasted three batches of 22 pounds of green chile; which were donated by his father a chile farmer. Armijo achieved a temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can check out some of the pictures here and here.

What an amazing achievement for the Earth and for Green Chile! While the rest of the world catches up on solar chile roasting, you can check out some of the events for Hatch Green Chile here. 

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