Massive 2.4 MW Solar Array Destined for Phoenix Warehouse

by | Apr 20, 2010

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An 850,000 square foot warehouse in Phoenix will receive a giant 2.4 megawatt solar array on its rooftop, making it Arizona’s largest commercial rooftop solar array so far.

The building, which used to be owned by Fleming Foods, is now owned and rented out by Cowley Companies.

The company is installing about 6.5 acres worth of SunPower T5 solar roof tiles, according to a press release.

The company is working with Empire Power Systems on the installation. The SunPower T5 tiles are tilted at five degrees to improve performance over flat models.

“With rising energy costs, it just made sense to power this warehouse with clean, renewable energy while lowering our electricity bills,” said Mike Cowley, president, Cowley Companies. “This particular warehouse is leased to our clients, some of whom are in the frozen food business, and the decision to install solar on the roof also supports their sustainability goals.”

The solar installation will be funded, in part, from a production-based incentive provided by Arizona Public Service.

Because of their typically flat roofs, warehouses are an increasingly popular choice for solar installations.

For instance, ProLogis, a distribution facilities company in the Northwest, plans to install a 2.4-megawatt solar system in partnership with Portland General Electric (PGE) that will cover 900,000-sq.-ft. of rooftop across seven warehouses in Portland, Gresham and Clackamas, Oregon.

Smucker Natural Foods’ new Chico, Calif., distribution center generates 94 percent of its own energy. The 157,000 square foot warehouse, which recently earned LEED Gold status, has two solar arrays.

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