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02/28/2017

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Apple’s Spaceship to Land




Apple will open its highly anticipated new campus in April. Dubbed Apple Park, the site is located on a 175-acre site in Cupertino, Calif.


The heart of the campus is a futuristic, ring-shaped, 2.8 million-sq.-ft. headquarters building that’s clad entirely in panels of curved glass. Designed in collaboration with Foster + Partners, Apple Park is powered by 100% renewable energy. With 17 megawatts of rooftop solar, the campus will run one of the largest on-site solar energy installations in the world.


It is also the site of the world’s largest naturally ventilated building, which is projected to require no heating or air conditioning for nine months of the year.




Ikea Expands Solar Portfolio




A new solar project will make Ikea the largest non-utility solar owner in the state of Ohio. The home furnishings giant is installing solar panels atop its future store in Columbus, Ohio — due to open in summer 2017. It will be the second Ikea solar array in Ohio. The chain installed a 1.026-MW rooftop array at its Cincinnati-area store in 2012.


REC Solar will develop, design and install the solar power system at the Columbus store, which is being built by Pepper Construction. The 213,000-sq.-ft. solar array will consist of a 1.21 MW system, built with 3,546 panels, and will produce approximately 1,447,700 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of reducing 1,017 tons of carbon dioxide.


The installation will be Ikea’s 46th solar project in the United States, contributing to the Ikea solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation of more than 40 MW. Ikea owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings.




The Home Depot Farms Wind Power




On the Los Mirasoles Wind Farm near McAllen, Texas, with windmills that stand taller from tip to base than the Statue of Liberty, The Home Depot is harvesting enough electricity to power 100 of its stores.


The project, done in collaboration with EDP Renewables North America, is the home improvement retailer’s first major investment in a wind-powered renewable energy project. Along with supplying power to 100 stores, the deal provides $150,000 in local community benefits, according to The Home Deport.


Through a 20-year power purchase agreement, Home Depot’s annual purchase of 50 MW is a fifth of the wind farm’s 250 MW capacity. Under the retailer’s renewable energy initiative, its goal is to procure 135 MW of various renewable energy sources, including wind, by the end of 2020.


In Delaware and Massachusetts, Home Depot collects energy from solar farms to the tune of 14.5 million kWh per year. Also, more than 150 stores and distribution centers use on-site fuel cells that produce about 85% of the electricity needed to power each store.




Target Tops in Solar Capacity




Target Corp. has knocked Walmart off its perennial top spot in an annual ranking of the U.S. companies with the most solar energy capacity. Target now has 147.5 MW of installed solar capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association’s 2016 Solar Means Business report, which ranks companies based on capacity through the third quarter of 2016.


It’s the first time Target grabbed the No. 1 spot in the report’s five-year history. The discounter added nearly 70 MW of solar in that time segment, more than any other U.S. retailer.


“We’re incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made in improving building efficiencies and reducing environmental impact,” said John Leisen, VP of property management at Target. “Our commitment to installing solar panels on 500 stores and distribution centers by 2020 is evidence of that progress.”


Walmart finished close behind Target, taking the No. 2 spot with 145 MW of installed solar capacity.