Old Dominion Freight Line has installed rooftop solar panels on its warehouse in Thomasville, North Carolina, the first solar panel system in the company’s nationwide network of facilities.
The 1.8 megawatt system, comprised of 7,660 individual solar panels that completely cover the company’s 160,000 square feet roof, is the third-largest rooftop solar panel project of its kind in North Carolina. The system, which has been operating since late December, can produce more than 2.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year−enough to offset more than 90 percent of the building’s annual energy costs.
This results in an environmental benefit of reducing CO2 emissions by a projected 1,547 metric tons, or the equivalent of:
• Saving 173,380 gallons of gas
• Providing electricity to 193 homes
• Removing 303 passenger vehicles from the road
• Preventing 15.3 acres of trees from deforestation or
• Not consuming 3,597 barrels of oil.
“The solar panel system is a sound investment for Old Dominion from both an economic and environmental perspective,” said Jayna Long, manager of sustainability at Old Dominion. “The electricity produced by the panels is routed into the local power grid and will fulfill the energy needs of nearly 200 homes this year. We are committed to environmental stewardship projects and are using this solar project to determine the feasibility of installing alternative power sources in other facilities in our network.”
In addition to the solar panel installation, Old Dominion has implemented a number of sustainable initiatives in its facilities over the past year.
The company recently opened what will be its first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified service center in Canton, Ohio. The building will see an estimated 19.7 percent in annual energy savings and can achieve a 34 percent reduction in water use, saving more than 31,000 gallons of water annually.
In 2011, Old Dominion also installed more efficient bulbs in 80 percent of its lighting systems and is implementing corporate-wide waste and recycling programs to reduce its impact on the environment.