FedEx Corp. is activating California's largest corporate solar-power installation at its hub at Oakland International Airport.
The solar-power installation will fuel 80% of the hub facility's energy needs, substituting the sun for fossil fuel and other sources of electricity. At peak output, the system will produce the equivalent of power used by more than 900 homes during the daytime. In addition to generating electricity, the solar panels help insulate the buildings, reducing heating and cooling costs.
"The solar-electric system at our Oakland hub powers one of our major FedEx Express hubs, which handles more than 260,000 packages daily and serves as a major gateway for shipments to and from Asia," said Mitch Jackson, managing director, corporate and international environmental programs, FedEx Express. "This is one more example of how FedEx implements innovative yet practical solutions that are good for business and the environment."
The system will reduce demand on the utility grid and will serve as an additional source of power capacity to benefit businesses and residents of California. During periods when the energy generated by the system is greater than is needed to power the facility, the surplus energy will be transferred into the utility grid for general use.
Berkeley-based PowerLight Corp., a manufacturer and supplier of large-scale solar electric systems and energy efficiency services designed and built the system. To power the facility, FedEx Express flew more than 300,000 Sharp solar cells from Japan to a Sharp facility in Memphis, where they were installed into 5,769 photovoltaic modules that convert sunlight directly into electricity. The 904-kilowatt system encompasses virtually the entire 81,000 square foot area of roof across the facility's two buildings.
The solar project is one of many environmental initiatives FedEx has rolled out in recent years. In 2000, FedEx Express became the first company to make a long-term commitment to introduce hybrid-electric delivery trucks into the market. The vehicles were developed in partnership with Environmental Defense and Eaton Corp. Today, there are more than 18 FedEx Express hybrid-electric vehicles in operation in neighborhoods across America. The company recently announced plans to place an additional 75 hybrid vehicles into service in the next year.
Source: FedEx Corp.