Green Scene: Timberland plans solar power system at SoCal distribution center

Further affirming its commitment to renewable energy, Timberland has chosen Northern Power Systems, a subsidiary of Distributed Energy Systems Corp., to design, engineer and construct a 400 kW solar power system at its 429,000-square-foot Ontario distribution center in Southern California.
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Further affirming its commitment to renewable energy, Timberland has chosen Northern Power Systems, a subsidiary of Distributed Energy Systems Corp., to design, engineer and construct a 400 kW solar power system at its 429,000-square-foot Ontario distribution center in Southern California.

Northern Power's COO Darren Jamison said, "This installation will be one of the largest commercial solar projects in California's history. Implementing a system of this scope for a company with such a reputation for social and corporate responsibility is tremendously inspiring for all of us."

The system will be installed on a new "TruckPort" steel mounting structure next to Timberland's warehouse, utilizing an unused area of the facility's truck yard by providing storage space for the facility as well as shaded parking for employees. A total of 1,960 PV modules will be mounted on the structure in strings of 14 each. The high-efficiency modules and inverters are expected to produce almost 60 percent of the facility's electrical load.

"We examined the proposals of multiple vendors over a period of 18 months, and Northern's creativity in finding a solution that met our economic and environmental objectives, as well as their track record of designing and installing successful renewable power projects, were determining factors in the contract award," said Betsy Blaisdell, manager of Timberland's environmental stewardship.

Also included in the design of the project will be Northern Power's "SmartView" remote monitoring software technology, allowing Timberland to manage and report on the site's power production in real time from any location via the Internet.

The system will give Timberland a rebate of over $1.5 million. It will also retain all of the green credits associated with the power generated by the system. It's been estimated that once the new system is installed, 935,000 fewer pounds of carbon dioxide will be pumped into the atmosphere per year, or better yet, there will be a reduction of at least 11,690 tons of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere during the system's 25-year lifespan -- the equivalent of planting over 78,000 acres of trees (or 3,150 acres per year).

SNEWS® is very committed to further the communication of the green message. Our monthly "Green Scene" column takes a look at what our industry is doing well, what it can do better, and provide inspiration and ideas for establishing our industry position as the leaders in green for both preservation and profit. If you have ideas or issues you would like to see us discuss, send an email to: GreenScene@snewsnet.com.

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