Renewable amp-up: HP invests in solar, wind energy resources

This entry’s in the way of pointing out some news this morning from Hewlett-Packard. The tech giant disclosed today that it has inked deals with two renewable energy suppliers to considerably amp up its use of solar and wind power.

This entry’s in the way of pointing out some news this morning from Hewlett-Packard. The tech giant disclosed today that it has inked deals with two renewable energy suppliers to considerably amp up its use of solar and wind power.

Given Google’s big green news today, also in the realm of renewable energy, it kind of makes me wonder if there was a coordination of timing. This is, as they say, a good news day in the world of green technology.

HP’s first agreement, with SunPower, will see the vendor support the installation of a 1-megawatt solar electric power system near its facility in San Diego. The second pact, with Airtricity, calls for HP to purchase more than 80 gigawatt-hours of electricity from onshore and offshore wind farms in Ireland over the next year.)

So, here’s a bit more of the particulars for the SunPower relationship, which hinges on the California Public Utilities Commission’s California Solar Initiative.

- The system will actually be financed and owned by an unnamed third party; it will include the installation of 5,000 solar photovoltaic panels on top of five of the seven buildings at HP’s San Diego site. - HP will buy back power at a reduced, locked rate under the SunPower Access program. - The agreement covers the plant installation and maintenance for 15 years. - HP estimates that it will save about $750,000 in energy costs over the 15-year period through the SunPower pact. - It will earn renewable energy credits that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1 million pounds per year.

Another really cool thing (no pun intended) about the SunPower deal is that HP has negotiated a program that it hopes will encourage its employees to purchase solar power. HP employees are eligible for a $2,000 rebate from SunPower if they use a SunPower dealer to install a solar power system in their own home. HP will match that rebate with up to $2,000 per installation.

With the separate Airtricity deal, HP says nearly 90 percent of the energy it uses in Ireland is supplied by renewable sources. It hopes the pact will save it $40,000 over the length of the year-long contract.

For context, HP reports that in 2006, it purchased 11 million kilowatt-hours or renewable energy. For all of 2007, it expects to procure about 50 million kilowatt-hours.

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