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Staples Unveils Largest Solar Power System in MD

Staples has unveiled a 1.5-megawatt (MW) solar power installation at its distribution center in Hagerstown, Maryland. The retailer now hosts more than 2.5MW of solar capacity in the state of Maryland alone, when combined with its recent solar installation at its fulfillment center in Hanover.

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) over the next 20 years.

Combined, the Staples deployments in Maryland will generate close to 60 million kWh of energy over 20 years.

Staples has a power purchase agreement with SunEdison that requires no capital investment and no operating or maintenance expenses on the part of the retailer. Under the agreement, SunEdison designs, finances, operates, and maintains the solar installations and Staples buys the energy produce at or below price for grid power.

The Hagerstown facility also is the 100th Staples facility to receive the Energy Star Award for building energy efficiency. The company is also participating in the Energy Star Challenge to improve energy efficiency across the company by an additional 10 percent.

In May, Staples announced that it has produced 15 million kilowatt hours from 32 solar installations throughout North America. The partnership program, which launched in 2005 with installations in Rialto, Calif., Ontario, Calif., and Englewood, N.J., has reduced CO2 emissions by an estimated 17.7 million lbs to date.

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