FedEx Express building its largest solar facility at Newark hub

FedEx Express has broken ground on a new solar power installation that could provide 15% of the energy needs for its hub in Newark, New Jersey. The Memphis-based firm said the project at Newark Liberty International Airport would be its largest-ever rooftop solar power system. The company currently operates eight solar facilities around the world.

Developed after several years of planning with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the facility will cover about 3.5 acres across three buildings at the FedEx Express hub when it is completed next year.

The installation will comprise 8,684 solar panels, generating about 2.4m kilowatt-hours of renewable energy each year – about the equivalent of enough electricity for 225 households.

Mitch Jackson, vice president of environmental affairs and sustainability at FedEx Corp, said the solar installation was part of FedEx’s efforts to connect the world “in responsible and resourceful ways”.

“Deploying solar technologies such as these at our facilities helps us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our operations while providing more sustainable options for our customers,” Jackson said.

Carbon

Once fully operational, FedEx said its new solar array will reduce carbon emissions by 1,807 tonnes a year – the equivalent to the emissions of 354 passenger cars driven for a year.

Port Authority deputy executive director Bill Baroni said: “FedEx will be the first company with solar panels on a building at Newark Liberty, and we look forward to other tenants following their lead.”

The FedEx solar project is being designed and built by New Jersey’s largest solar provider, Ray Angelini, Inc., and Marina Energy, with a “complex” financing structure for the project managed by New York-based Solops.

Raymond J Angelini, the Ray Angelini president, said: “Like our other projects, this one will help its owners greatly reduce their impact on the environment will still meeting customer needs.”

FedEx Express has been operating its hub at Newark Liberty since 1986.

The company has more than 2,500 employees based at the hub, where more than 1,200 flights per month connect the facility to domestic and international markets in North America and Europe.

FedEx started deploying solar power facilities in 2005, and now has installations at its West Coast Hub in Oakland, California, at its Memphis HQ, and at FedEx Freight facilities in Whittier and Fontana, California.

The company also has solar arrays at its FedEx Ground hub in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and at its FedEx Express hub in Cologne, Germany.

US solar industry trade body the Solar Energy Industries Association named FedEx among the top 20 companies in America for the use of solar power, within a report last month.

It said FedEx has a total installed capacity of 4.8MW of solar facilities operational as of mid-August 2012.

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