ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

Next Step in Environmental Campaign Completed

by 5m Editor
12 October 2011, at 9:40am

MARYLAND, US - Governor Martin O'Malley and other Maryland dignitaries last week celebrated the completion of one of the largest commercially owned solar power systems in the eastern United States at Perdue Incorporated's corporate headquarters.

Executives from project partners Perdue, Standard Solar, Inc. and Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES), as well as state and local elected officials and business leaders attended an open house at the site to observe the array of 5,040 solar panels.

Governor O'Malley said: "By demonstrating through smart, targeted investments that we're committed to solar, we position Maryland as a leader in solar energy. We also help attract green businesses to our state and make it easier for companies like Perdue to make the commitment to a long-term investment in renewable energy. The strategies we're using as a state to advance the job-creating, planet-saving power of solar energy are helping us lead the way toward a greener future – right now, and in the future."

The installation on six acres of Perdue property is the company's latest initiative supporting its commitment to being environmentally friendly. The Salisbury installation will supply electricity to adjacent Perdue Corporate headquarters, and is the final phase of nearly 12,000 panels installed at two Perdue facilities.

Jim Perdue, chairman, Perdue Incorporated, said: "Completion of this project is another step forward in our commitment to environmental responsibility. Stewardship is one of Perdue's core values, so this is a perfect fit for the way we do business."

The panels are owned by WGES and were installed by Standard Solar. Perdue will purchase green electricity generated by the solar panels at guaranteed prices. The first phase of the installation is in Bridgeville, Delaware, and was completed in August 2011.

Both systems will generate a combined average of 3,700-megawatt hours of electricity each year, or the amount of power used by 340 typical US homes. At peak production, the panels will produce as much as 90 per cent of the electrical demand for each Perdue facility.

Steve Schwalb, Perdue's vice president of environmental sustainability, commented: "We are pleased to begin powering our operations with clean, renewable energy while lowering our energy costs, demonstrating that environmental responsibility is also good business."

He estimated the clean electricity from the solar panels will reduce carbon emissions by 3,000 tons per year, the equivalent of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from 300,000 gallons of gasoline per year, or nearly 4.5 million gallons through the life of the 15-year contract.

Scott Wiater, president of Standard Solar, commented: "This installation is so much more than just an environmental statement for Perdue, it is also an ideal way for the company to manage its energy costs now and into the future. We commend them for their forward thinking and their leadership in embracing renewable energy."

Perdue is engaged in other alternative energy initiatives, including a biogas-to-energy project at its poultry processing facility at Cromwell, Kentucky, and a biomass burning installation at its soybean processing plant in Cofield, North Carolina. Additionally, the company is currently renovating its corporate office to the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards. Ten years ago, Perdue built the nation's first commercial poultry litter-processing plant, the only process that is verifiably removing excess nutrients from the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Harry Warren, president of WGES, added: "We thank Jim Perdue and his organisation for their commitment to the environment and for their confidence in us and our partners at Standard Solar. As a leading competitive energy supplier in the state, we are committed to expanding our solar investment portfolio here, and we thank the governor and the legislature for their continuing support for competitive energy markets that make these investments possible."

View a time-lapse video of construction of Perdue's new solar farm by clicking here.