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AT&T Activates First of Six Solar Power Installations Planned for California

AT&T has activated a 296-kW rooftop solar power installation at its Trade Street site in San Diego, which will generate an estimated 420,000 kWh of energy in its first year of operation. Over 20 years, the solar power installation will generate more than 7.7 million kWh of energy, and is projected to help AT&T avoid more than 8 million pounds of carbon dioxide during the initial 20 years of operation.

Under contract with SunEdison, AT&T plans to deploy five other solar power installations in California for a total of about 2 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity by the second quarter of 2011. Those deployments will be located in Dunnigan, Commerce, Mojave, Santa Ana and West Sacramento.

Under the power purchase agreement (PPA) between SunEdison and AT&T, SunEdison will construct, monitor and maintain an additional five solar power installations in California, and AT&T will buy the energy produced from the solar systems to offset their grid demand.

Once activated, the six systems will generate over 3.2 million kWh of energy within the first year of operation. According to SunEdison projections, these systems will avoid an estimated 62 million pounds of CO2 over 20 years of operation.

In June, AT&T released its 2009 Citizenship and Sustainability Report that shows that renewable energy is a key initiative for the company. In 2009, a second large-scale solar power plant was installed at AT&T’s campus in Secaucus, New Jersey. The 841-kW system will produce 1.0 million kWh of electricity per year.

In other solar news in California, Kikkoman Foods announced plans to install a 106.6 kW solar array, powered by 576 Mitsubishi Electric PV modules on its soy sauce factory in Folsom. The system is expected to produce 150,000 kWh annually.

The company says the new system will significantly reduce the need for fossil fuel-based electricity to power production and allow the company to sell solar electricity back to the grid when the facility is not in operation.

Kikkoman said it made the decision to install a solar system at its Folsom facility due to the high number of sun hours in California, rebates from the California Solar Initiative Program and the Federal Tax Credit. The state and federal incentives along with the reduction in the company’s monthly electric bill made the economics of the solar system very attractive, said Kikkoman.

The solar power system will be installed as a fixed carport over the employee and visitor parking lot. Similar to most other carport installations, it will serve a dual purpose of providing shade for cars while creating green energy for the company.

The new solar electric system is expected to be in operation in late September 2010.

Kikkoman Foods also has several other sustainability initiatives in place including recycling and reusing almost all waste streams from the production process, energy conservation and energy efficiency improvements and improved water management.

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