Toys ‘R’ Us Plans Nation’s Biggest Solar Rooftop Array
Constellation Energy Group, which recently agreed to be bought by Exelon Corp., will build the 5.38 MW array using 37,000 Uni-Solar panels from United Solar, a subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices Inc. The system will occupy 869,294 square feet and is expected to meet about 72 percent of power needs at the Flanders, N.J. distribution center, the company’s largest. Construction is due to complete this summer.
Depending on weather conditions, the system is expected to produce approximately 6,362,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year, Toys”R”Us said. Generating the same amount of electricity using non-renewable sources would result in the release of an estimated 4,387 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent emissions from 860 passenger vehicles or that of the electricity used to power 532 homes annually, the company added.
Constellation Energy will own and maintain the rooftop solar power system. Toys”R”Us will purchase the electricity from Constellation Energy through a 20-year power purchase agreement.
The Solar Energy Industry Association confirmed, via Bloonmberg, that the system is set to be the biggest in the U.S. Toys”R”Us’s installation will be even larger than SunPower Corp’s 4.8-megawatt array, being built on Glimcher Realty Trust’s Jersey Gardens mall.
“New Jersey’s leadership in providing renewable, clean energy opportunities for companies has helped pave the way for an installation of this size and underscores the state as a champion for solar energy growth across North America,” Toys”R”Us chairman and CEO Jerry Storch said.
Beyond the solar project in Flanders, the company said it is making a number of sustainable upgrades to its existing stores around the country and incorporating renewable and energy efficient features into its new locations. A rooftop solar power system at the Babies”R”Us in North Brunswick, N.J., installed in January 2010, provides about 67 percent of the electricity needs for the location.
This spring, another rooftop solar system at the “R” Superstore in Secaucus, N.J. will be installed in partnership with Hartz Solar, and is estimated to generate 33 percent of electricity for the location.
Toys”R”Us says it continues to look for opportunities to integrate solar-powered energy, including at its corporate headquarters in Wayne, N.J., its distribution centers and other “R”Us store locations nationwide.
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