Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Staples and SunEdison unveil Maryland's largest solar power installation

HAGERSTOWN, USA: Staples, the world's largest office products company, and SunEdison, a leading worldwide solar energy services provider and subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials, unveiled a 1.5 megawatt (MW) solar power installation at the Staples distribution center in Hagerstown, Md.

Combined with the recent solar installation at the Staples fulfillment center in Hanover, Md., Staples is now hosting more than 2.5MW of solar capacity in the state of Maryland alone.

The 1.5 MW ground installation in Hagerstown consists of more than 11,000 solar panels and will generate an estimated 2 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually and more than 37 million kWh for the next 20 years.

The environmental attributes associated with the solar power plant will offset more than 74 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) for the next 20 years -- that's equivalent to removing more than 4,200 automobiles driving 12,000 miles per year. Combined, the Staples deployments in Maryland will generate close to 60 million kWh of energy over 20 years -- enough energy to power more than 5,500 average US homes for one year.

"This latest solar power system installment at our Hagerstown fulfillment center demonstrates Staples' ongoing dedication to sustainable business," said Mark Buckley, vice president of environmental affairs for Staples. "Working with SunEdison for solar power requires no capital investment and no operating or maintenance expense for Staples, provides power at or below the price for grid power, and helps us meet our environmental goals."

The SunEdison/Staples solar program is made possible through power purchase agreements between SunEdison and Staples which require no upfront capital outlays from Staples. SunEdison designs, develops, finances, operates, monitors and maintains the solar installations and Staples buys the energy produced to offset their demand from the grid at long-term predictable energy pricing.

"SunEdison has worked closely with Staples since 2005 and we are very proud of the achievements we continue to reach together," said Jason Stevens, vice president of EPC for SunEdison. "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."

The Hagerstown facility also exemplifies Staples' partnership with the EPA ENERGY STAR program. It is the 100th Staples facility to receive the prestigious ENERGY STAR Award for building energy efficiency and was honored today with a plaque to commemorate the achievement. The company is also participating in the ENERGY STAR Challenge to improve energy efficiency across the company by an additional 10 percent.

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