3 new corporate renewable energy projects

More companies are experimenting with on-site investments to supplement their portfolios of renewable energy credits.

Often, when large companies talk about renewable energy investments, they are really talking about investing in renewable energy certificates. So, I always notice when an organization actually takes the plunge and puts renewable technology at one of its sites.

For example, AT&T last week said it will add to its existing 3 megawatts of renewable energy commitment by bringing 5 megawatts online by the end of 2011.

With that in mind, here are three new projects that I've heard about in the last several weeks.

#1: Avidan Management (Edison, N.J.)

Sited in Edison, N.J., the 4.26-megawatt system is being billed as the largest rooftop-mounted solar panel project in the United States. There are 17,745 panels in all, across the 656,255-square-foot distribution facility, which has office space and warehouse space for dry and refrigerated foods. The solar technology was designed to generate about half of the electricity needs for the site, or about 5 million kilowatt-hours per year. The anticipated offset in terms of reduced carbon dioxide emissions is approximately 3,750 tons annually. Plus, the tenants get some consideration in terms of their energy costs. Said Avidan Management Managing Member Avi Avidan, in a press release about the project: "In addition to the substantial environmental benefits this system affords, we are now able to provide our tenants with clean energy that costs 30 percent less than conventional energy sources."

#2: Chevron Mining (Questa, N.M.)

A subsidiary of energy giant Chevron, Chevron Mining is building out a concentrating solar photovoltaic facility in Questa, N.M., that will cover 20 acres and encompass 173 solar trackers (each measuring 18 feet by 21 feet). The capacity of the site will be about 1 megawatt, and the company is positioning the installation as a means of demonstrating and evaluating this sort of solar technology. The power generated by the technology will be sold to the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative through a power purchase agreement.

#3: Granite Construction (Coalinga, Calif.)

The construction company is planning to install 1.2 megawatts of thin-film solar technology capacity at its aggregate and hot mix facility in Coalinga, Calif. The system should supply up to 50 percent of the site's total energy needs, and it is being billed as the largest installation of its kind in the United States.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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