Not too far from our offices in Baltimore, Maryland, a Staples distribution center in Hagerstown has unveiled the installation of approximately 11,000 ground-mounted solar panels.
These panels will provide 1.5 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity and will generate an estimated 2 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually, and will offset more than 74 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the next 20 years.
Staples, the worlds largest office supply company, is committed to supporting the development of renewable energy technologies and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Earlier this year, Staples completed a 1.01 MW solar installation on the roof of its fulfillment center in Hanover, MD.
With just these two sites in Maryland, the retailer is set to generate close to 60 million kWh of energy over the next 20 years.
The distribution center in Hagerstown is the 100th Staples facility to receive the EPA’s Energy Star award for building energy efficiency. The retailer is also participating in the Energy Star Challenge to improve energy efficiency by an additional 10 percent.
The project was made possible through a power purchase agreement with SunEdison, a solar company headquartered in Maryland, that requires no upfront capital by Staples.
SunEdison designed, developed, and financed the solar power installation. The solar outfit will also operate and monitor these facilities, while Staples buys the energy produced by the solar panels at or below the price for grid power.
This partnership, launched in 2005, has allowed Staples to host 25 active rooftop solar systems as well as other ground systems across the US.
“Through our timely build-outs, advanced technologies and our strength in financing, we are able to make solar a reality for commercial clients like Staples worldwide,” said Jason Stevens, vice president of EPC for SunEdison.
Staples is not the only retailer working to produce renewable energy and looking to improve it’s environmental image…
McCormick and Company, also headquartered in Maryland, installed 2,100 solar panels and 92,00 square feet of thin-film photovoltaic material to the roofs of its spice mill and distribution center earlier this year.
Wal-Mart has also been making recent headlines for its efforts to install the photovoltaic material to many of its facilities in Arizona and California.
With companies receiving state and federal tax credits as added incentives, and more and more energy companies possessing the capability to install and operate these systems, this is surely just the beginning of this trend.
Until Next Time,