Smarter Business: Greening Advisor


On-site renewable energy generation

On-site renewable energy, such as solar or wind power, is a way to power your building while reducing its reliance on fossil fuels and minimizing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Many major companies, educational institutions, and government facilities now use on-site renewable energy to provide power to their facilities.

A number of incentives are available for on-site renewable energy generation. Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency for a list of incentives and rebates available in your state.

On-Site Renewables Can Be Cost-Effective

An on-site renewable energy project can be a cost-competitive means of powering your company’s buildings. They improve fuel diversity, promote your building’s energy independence, generate positive publicity, and visibly demonstrate a commitment to environmental issues. They also offer the potential to feed excess energy back into the grid (called “net metering,” which can turn your meter backwards), creating a potential source of income. In addition, available incentives can significantly reduce the initial capital cost.

Corporate Examples of On-Site Solar Generation

FedEx Corporation recently constructed a solar array on the rooftops of two buildings at its facility at Oakland International Airport. The 904-kilowatt array provides approximately 80 percent of FedEx’s peak load demand and, in so doing, reduces FedEx’s energy bills and the risks associated with unstable or rising fossil fuel prices.

Oroville Wastewater Agency operates a 520 kilowatt on-site solar array capable of fulfilling nearly 80 percent of its wastewater treatment plant’s energy needs. On Earth Day 2003, the Sewerage Commission-Oroville Region received a $2,342,502 rebate check from Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for its on-site array—the largest renewable energy system rebate in PG&E history.

AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, recently installed 590 solar panels in three different parts of the stadium. These panels produce up to 122 kilowatts of renewable energy for PG&E customers in San Francisco, the equivalent of about 40 residential solar systems. As the first Major League Baseball stadium to feature solar power, this installation not only generates renewable energy, but also provides a high-profile platform to showcase the importance of clean energy and energy conservation.

Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, has undertaken the construction of a solar energy system with 46 solar panels. The 9.8 kilowatt system can provide more than 14,000 kilowatt hours of energy, which could offset the energy consumption of their LED scoreboard for more than a year.

For more examples of on-site solar generation, visit the following website:
On-Site Renewables at EPA Offices

Additional Resources

Greening Advisor

The Business Plan

The Opportunities

Quick Fact

A solar energy system under construction at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, could produce enough energy to power their LED scoreboard for more than a year.

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On-site renewable energy, such as solar or wind power, is a way to power your building while reducing its reliance on fossil fuels and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.

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