By Rachel Leber
ATLANTA — The United Parcel Service (UPS), based in Atlanta, announced plans on Feb. 7 to significantly increase its spending and investment in solar energy starting with at least eight of its facilities in the U.S. The estimated $18 million investment in new on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) projects will provide a nearly five-fold increase in the amount of power generated from solar at UPS facilities today. This significant installation of solar projects is slated for completion by the end of the year, according to Clean Technica.
The investment in solar energy will include the addition of 26,000 solar panels to UPS’ 2,580 facilities throughout the world. Once installed, each building will effectively produce 50 percent of its daily energy use from the sun. UPS will own and operate the installations, providing additional flexibility over the long term as solar panels have the ability to generate electricity for more than 25 years. Altogether, these projects will total around 10 megawatts (MW) in nameplate electricity generation capacity. The company reported that these new projects would also offset around 8,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year, according to a recent statement.
UPS began installing solar panels in 2004 at its Palm Springs, Calif., facility where the arrays are still generating approximately 110 kilowatts of sustainable energy, according to a statement from UPS. Since then, the company has expanded solar to its New Jersey facilities in the cities of Lakewood, Parsippany and Secaucus.
Overall, UPS has invested more than $750 million in alternative-fuel and advanced-technology vehicles and fueling stations globally since 2009. In 2014, the renewable energy program saved UPS nearly $200 million in energy costs. In addition to on-site solar energy investments, the company also recently invested in electric vehicle technologies, including electric vans, trucks and trikes.