Friday, January 28, 2011

What do Solar and Chickens Have in Common?

Perdue plans to harness the sun to help run its Delmarva-based poultry and grain empire.

The company announced Wednesday that it would install more than 11,000 solar panels - covering the equivalent of 10 football fields - at its corporate headquarters in Salisbury and at its feed mill in Bridgeville, Delaware

The company, one of the largest in the chicken business, says its solar play will be one of the biggest on the East Coast.

The panels, made by Standard Solar based in Rockville, will actually be owned and operated by Washington Gas Energy Services Inc.

Perdue signed a 15-year agreement to buy the electricity produced by the panels - 3,700 megawatt hours of electricity a year, on average, the company says, which it estimates is roughly what it takes to power 340 homes. Of course, since the sun doesn't shine all the time, the amount generated at any one time will vary.

Steve Schwalb, Perdue’s vice president of environmental sustainability, estimated the electricity from the solar panels will reduce Perdue’s carbon footprint by 3,000 tons per year.


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