GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare has begun installing what is being called North America’s largest rooftop solar array at its Northeast Regional Distribution Center (RDC) in York, PA. The 3MW system will generate about 3.4 million KWh annually, enough electricity to meet the annual needs of the 500,000 sq ft building, the company said.
The system will be comprised of 11,000 Suntech large-format, crystalline-silicon panels (deployed in grid-sets of threes) as well as Advanced Energy inverters and Sunlink racking gear. American Capital Energy, which has project responsibility, said it expects to achieve an installation velocity of about 500 panels per day.
GSK received a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Commonwealth Financing Authority, and $4.1 million in federal tax credits to help pay for the project. The company said it will also use energy savings and Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) to offset costs.
“The support of state and federal leaders is instrumental in helping GSK expand our solar energy initiatives,” said Larry Brown, VP of North America Supply for GSK’s consumer healthcare unit.
“This solar panel array provides a blueprint for GSK to bring solar power to each of its North American distribution facilities in the next few years.
As a next step, we will then install solar panels at our Fresno, CA, RDC by spring of 2011. Together, the York and Fresno facilities will generate 60% of the total GSK Consumer Healthcare North America RDC electricity supply from clean, renewable solar energy. This is a remarkable step toward us becoming a more energy-efficient company”
Four other solar panel projects were recently completed at GSK facilities in Upper Providence and Collegeville, PA; North Carolina; Belgium; and Singapore, according to the company.