(Oct. 7) Gap Inc. unveiled a one-megawatt (MW) solar-power system at its West Coast distribution center campus in Fresno, Calif. The installation, undertaken with MMA Renewable Ventures, Baltimore, and SunPower Corp., San Jose, Calif., is one of the largest in Northern California. It features a ground-mounted solar-tracking system on a five-acre site, and is expected to offset 2.5 million lbs. of greenhouse gases annually.
“We are very excited this solar-power system is now online,” said Kindley Walsh Lawlor, senior director of strategic planning and environmental affairs for Gap Inc. “We made the commitment to host this solar system nearly 15 months ago and are proud to support the clean energy it generates.
MMA, which owns and operates the system, joined with Gap to develop an innovative partnership that leverages tax credits and incentives to finance the system. The arrangement enables Gap to buy the power generated from the system through a long-term contract, or a power-purchase agreement (PPA), eliminating the need for a major capital investment. MMA owns the renewable energy credits and environmental attributes associated with the system.
“By securing power through a power-purchase agreement, Gap will benefit from cost savings from the system’s first day of operation and for years to come, said Matt Cheney, CEO, MMA Renewable Ventures.
The array was designed and installed by SunPower. It utilizes the company’s Tracker system, which follows the sun’s movement during the day, increasing sunlight capture by up to 25%, compared to conventional fixed-tilt systems, while also significantly reducing land-use requirements.