SunEdison helping Kohl’s go solar

Posted on May 10, 2009. Filed under: Solar |


From an Associated Press article published in the Maryland Daily Record:

ELDERSBURG — Shoppers who step into the Kohl’s department store in Eldersburg may not notice anything more environmental about the building, but a recent addition has brought it into the growing ranks of buildings using renewable energy.

Atop the building’s roof, Beltsville-based SunEdison has installed 1,500 solar panels that will capture solar radiation from the sun and convert it into electricity, which will be used by the store.

The national Kohl’s chain has made a commitment to be more environmentally minded, and in 2008, the Wisconsin-based company was able to purchase 20 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy sources, according to a press release from Kohl’s.

Sixty-seven stores have solar panels on the roofs, and another 100 stores in six states, including Maryland, are expecting to get more solar energy systems installed, according to John Fojut, Kohl’s vice president of facilities.

“We assess opportunities for solar on a case by case basis,” Fojut said in an e-mail. “The Eldersburg site was ideal because of the building age and roof condition.”

Installation of the solar panels on the Eldersburg store this spring took nine weeks, according to Loretta Prencipe, director of communications for SunEdison.

The system will be capable of producing an average of 297 kilowatt-hours, or more than 5.9 million kwh over 20 years — the equivalency of enough power to supply 559 homes for a year, said Kirk Roller, vice president of sales for SunEdison.

SunEdison owns and maintains all of the solar panels installed with Kohl’s buildings, Roller said, which provide a total of 20.9 megawatts of power each year. To put the size of Kohl’s operations into perspective, the biggest single solar power production facility in the country is an 8-megawatt facility in Arizona, Roller said.

“They don’t have to touch it, they don’t have to maintain it — that’s our job,” Roller said.

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