Intel plans to install approximately 2.5 megawatts (MW) of new solar power projects at eight locations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Oregon. The chip maker also increased its purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs) by 10 percent to more than 1.43 billion kilowatt hours — more than 51 percent of its estimated 2010 U.S. electricity use, helping the company retain its spot as the EPA’s No. 1 renewable energy purchaser.
The new solar installs are expected to help the company achieve its 2012 goals related to water use, emissions reductions, energy consumption, waste reduction and product energy efficiency.
Intel’s new solar installations are scheduled to be completed over the next seven months. All of the solar panels will be installed on the roofs of Intel’s facilities, with the exception of the largest installation, an approximately 1-MW solar field in Folsom, Calif.
The Folsom installation will span nearly six acres, making it one of the largest non-utility ground-mounts in California. All of the installations will use the power generated at their sites.
Intel says it has invested more than $30 million and saved more than 650 million kilowatt hours from energy conservation and efficiency initiatives since 2001.
As an example, in May last year, Intel unveiled a 100-kilowatt (kW) solar installation at its Jones Farm Campus in Hillsboro, Ore., which will offset more than 4 million pounds of greenhouse gas that would have been emitted by coal or fossil-fuel-generated electricity during the first 25 years of the system’s lifetime.