UPS delivers $18 million for solar expansion

UPS has put the rest of the corporate world on notice that it wants to crack the Solar Means Business Top 10 corporate users of solar power in the not-too-distant future.

To kickstart its drive, it has pledged $18 million to an effort to expand its commitment to using solar energy at a portion of its 2,580 UPS facilities worldwide by the end of 2017. The investment represents a nearly five-fold increase in the amount of solar energy the company uses. The company has also said it plans further expansion in coming years as more suitable sites are identified.

“Solar technology is a proven way to effectively and efficiently provide long-term power to our facilities,” said Bill Moir, director of facilities procurement for UPS. “We have a significant number of facilities that are well positioned to deploy solar at scale and increase our sustainable energy options for our buildings and electric vehicles.”

The planned projects will have a capacity of almost 10 MW, and will generate enough electricity to power approximately 1,200 homes. They will also reduce UPS’ carbon emissions by around 8,200 metric tons per year.

UPS says it expects to install more than 26,000 solar panels on its facilities. Once the installations are completed, it expects each building that sports an array will produce 50% of its daily energy use from solar power. The company will own and operate the installations.

UPS started investing in solar 12 years ago at its Palm Springs, Calif., facility, which is still generating approximately 110 kilowatts of electricity. The company also has solar installations at its facilities in Lakewood, Parsippany and Secaucus, N.J.