REI’s new distribution center in Goodyear, AZ is part of the outdoor retail giant’s goal to achieve net-zero energy use thanks to its 2.2 megawatt (MW) rooftop system that offsets 100 percent of the center’s electricity needs. The project more than doubles the amount of solar power REI has on its buildings, which including the distribution center, is now up to 5.4 MWs across 25 locations in the US.
“REI’s ambitious net-zero energy distribution center is a landmark project and houses one of the largest rooftop solar arrays in Arizona,” said Kirk Meyers, sustainability manager at REI. “We are thrilled to continue our relationship with the Blue Oak Energy team. Their ongoing partnership is representative of what it takes to complete complex energy projects like this.”
“We’ve built a tremendous relationship with REI, installing more than 25 systems at REI locations across the nation,” said Tobin Booth, CEO of Blue Oak Energy. “For this latest installation, we once again joined forces with REI, staying by their side every step of the way to offer expertise and provide guidance on the building’s energy production, costs and financial returns to ultimately help them reach their ambitious environmental goals,”
A growing number of retail entities have added a significant amount of solar energy across their enterprises and some have even reached net-zero energy use, where their facilities generate all the power they need through solar, wind or other renewable energy sources, like REI is working to achieve. Wisconsin-based Kohls, for instance, now sources 105 percent of its electric from solar power. Likewise Swedish furniture giant, Ikea will complete its 44th US solar array this fall, which will be the largest rooftop installation in the state Tennessee.
According to a report released by Environment America earlier this year, big box retail stores in the US have 4.5 billion square feet of space on which they could install solar power, an amount that could feasibly generate 62.3 gigawatts (GW) of solar power. Such retailers are looking at this seriously. Walmart, for instance, has already completed more than 350 installations and 142 MWs of solar across the US. Likewise Target is making progress with plans to install solar arrays on the roofs of 180 Target stores and distribution centers across the country by the end of this year.Tweet