A Solar Array on a Macy’s Rooftop in New Jersey is Part of a Long-Range Plan Toward Sustainability
The rooftop of the Macy’s Raritan Distribution Center near Edison, New Jersey, has just become an active source of clean, renewable solar energy. A 1.1 megawatt fixed-tilt solar array installed by Enfinity America Corporation (Enfinity) is further evidence of Macy’s commitment to sustainability. Tom Cole, chief administrative officer of Macy’s, said that in recent years they have made significant progress toward sustainability on all fronts. The latest addition of this rooftop solar in New Jersey is just another step in minimizing Macy’s environmental impact. SunConnect, a leading developer and provider of technology related to solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays, signed the agreement with Macy’s to design and install this new solar power generation system. The project commenced in September of 2011. Now that the solar array is online and operational, it’s expected that the system will provide approximately 70% of all the power required for the operation of the expansive facility. The system was co-developed with Enfinity, the power purchase agreement (PPA) provider on the project involved in the purchase, construction, and interconnection of the solar panels along with related components. The project incorporates SunConnect’s proprietary Clearview Racking System. This is a breakthrough PV panel support structure which allows simple and quick access to underlying roof surfaces. The Clearview Racking System represents improvements in the solar industry in that the system is not too heavy to be supported by the large, flat roof underneath it. The support structure is constructed of extruded aluminum and stainless steel. It is not vulnerable to corrosion; and the projected lifespan of the system, 40 years, is the same as most solar PV arrays. The Clearview Racking System was engineered with the express idea of allowing building owners to operate their buildings with more cost effectiveness. In the event of a roof leak, no costly dis-assembly of the solar PV system is required. In addition, because the PV panels can be moved around as needed without major dis-assembly, the system can significantly:
- Shorten the period of water infiltration going into the building.
- Speed up the pace of roof surface repair jobs.
- Help to minimize the impact of any water damage which may occur within the structure.
The CEO of Enfinity, Rafael Dobrzynski, said “This installation for Macy’s is a good example of what the future of solar PV will look like; more roof-mounted, distributed generation plants located near areas of higher electricity demand.” For many environmentalists, turning massive, flat rooftops into prime real estate for solar panels and the production of clean energy is just another way of making the dream of seeing America go green seem entirely possible. And Macy’s has a lot more going on, in addition to installing rooftop solar PV systems throughout the U.S. Some of the retailer’s other waste reduction and energy-saving initiatives include:
- The use of LED bulbs in 86 Macy’s stores, which replaced 117,000 traditional incandescent light bulbs. The new bulbs utilize about 73 percent less energy. The total energy savings is estimated at about 16,200 MW every hour every year, which is comparable to planting 65,500 trees.
- Bottled water used in Macy’s office facilities has been replaced with water filtration units, which means the associates fill their own containers, which are reusable. Halting the use of bottled water has a direct impact on the waste stream. By recycling, Macy’s diverted more than 66 tons of waste last year alone.
The Macy’s solar array in New Jersey may be the latest news about the retailer’s movement toward switching to sustainable energy, but it will surely not be the last. Our Solar Store in Hamilton, New Jersey offers residential and small business access to Solar PV Electric and Solar Hot Water systems. Bowden’s is a well established and trusted business that has provided energy solutions since 1904!