One of Alabama’s largest solar facilities will provide power to Walmart in an effort to help the retailer meet its renewable energy goals.
Alabama Solar A, as it’s called, is a 72 MW facility was built by Swinerton Renewable Energy, based in San Diego. According to Solar Industry Magazine, Alabama Power is marketing the remaining energy and renewable energy attributes from the project to other customers interested in supporting new renewable generation in the state.
The $140 million project began producing electricity this week thanks to 338,000 solar panels that automatically track the sun for optimum efficiency. About 57,000 pilings were installed in 4,000 rows to create the solar energy facility.
Alabama NewsCenter reports that the project was built with sensitivity to the environment. Detention ponds capture rainwater, helping prevent erosion and protecting water quality. Tree stumps removed during construction were ground into mulch and used across the site to also prevent erosion, until grass planted throughout the facility had a chance to sprout and grow.
Alabama’s Energy Efficiency Initiatives
In August 2017, Monroe County School System in Monroeville, Alabama, took on a modernization project that is expected to generate $6.2 million in energy and operational savings, reducing the district’s annual utility budget by 32%. The project focuses on LED lighting upgrades, the installation of a district-wide building automation system and upgrades to heating and cooling systems. The school district is partnering with Schneider Electric, with funding from an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) where utility and operational savings are used to fund the renovations with no burden on local taxpayers.
And in June 2017, the operators of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) earned a LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. BHM leaders approved a new terminal and the installation of an all-electric, high-efficiency HVAC system, sophisticated building automation systems, increased insulation and energy-efficient light fixtures, escalators, elevators and windows. The energy efficient improvements within the new terminal are paying off. In January, 2011, the gas and electric bill for the old terminal totaled $129,374. The new terminal, which is 185,000 square feet larger, had a total energy bill amounting to approximately $32,000 less.
Vendors mentioned in this article:
- Swinerton Renewable Energy
- Alabama Power
- Schneider Electric
Mark your calendars: The 3rd Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 15 – 17, 2018 in Denver. Learn more here.