Record-Setting Solar Roof Installed at GlaxoSmithKline $GSK
The pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has beguninstalling what it says is North America’s largest photovoltaic (PV)rooftop solar energy system at its 500,000 square-foot NortheastRegional Distribution Center in York, Pennsylvania. According to the USA Today, the mammoth system, when complete, will be the size of seven American football fields.
The 11,000-panel, 3-megawatt (MW) system will be capable of generating 3.4 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar energy each year – enough to power nearly 400 average-sized Americanhomes for a full year. It will make GSK’s York facility the first fullysolar-powered GSK building in the world.
A slew of incentives are being used to make the solar energy system a reality and help American Capital Energy, solar design and engineeringcompany, install the system at a steady pace of 500 panels each day. Inaddition to using renewable energy credits (REC’s) to help alleviatesome of the initial cost burden, GSK earned a $1 million grant from thePennsylvania Commonwealth Financing Authority and $4.1 million infederal tax credits.
For GSK — which ranked 5th overall in Newsweek’s “2010 Green Ranking” — the Pennsylvania installation is part of a plan that also seeks toreduce its energy use by 45 percent by 2015, compared to its 2006levels. Toward that cause, GSK will install solar energy at each of its North American facilities. If all goes well, the York installation will be completed during spring 2011. It’s second North American facility in Fresno, California should have solar within the next two years.Combined, the two facilities will account for 60 percent of GSK’s NorthAmerican energy use.
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