A ceremonial switch was thrown on Tuesday marking the start of a new one megawatt solar power installation at Gap Inc.’s west coast distribution facility in Fresno California.
The system was designed by SunPower, headquartered in San Jose, California, and features SunPower Tracker, a tracking technology that tracks the sun’s movement through the day. With this tracking technology, the 4,500 panel system will capture 25% more solar energy over fixed-tilt panels while reducing land-use requirements.
The installation has the capacity to generate 1.9 million kilowatt hours annually, enough to power 350 homes. The system should offset 2.5 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions or the equivalent of taking 2,466 vehicles off the road over the life of the project.
“Good for business, good for the planet”
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Kindley Walsh Lawlor, senior director of strategic planning for Gap Inc. talked of the firm’s ongoing commitment to corporate responsibility:
“We are very excited this solar power system is now online. We made the commitment to host this solar system nearly 15 months ago and are proud to support the clean energy it generates. Over the past decade, Gap Inc. has sought to find better ways to do business and this solar installation is one such shining example.”
Senior vice president for MMA Renewable Ventures Mark McLanahan added, “This is good for business and it’s good for the planet. And in these tough economic times, you need to make that connection.”
Based in San Francisco, MMA Renewable Ventures owns the solar system, partnering with Gap to leverage tax credits and incentives to finance the $7 million dollar project. MMA will sell power to Gap through a 20-year power purchase agreement at or below utility rates.
Ideal location for solar power
Fresno is the hub to California’s central valley, and no stranger to solar power development. Many civic and private organizations take advantage of the sunny conditions including Fresno Yosemite airport with a 4.2 megawatt installation and Fresno State University’s 1.2 megawatt solar system.
At the ceremony for Gap Stores on Tuesday, representatives from the mayors office welcomed Gap into Fresno’s growing “green family”.
>> Calculate the solar potential of your California home with Renewzle’s solar power calculator.