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Intel plans 8 solar electric facilities

Intel Corp says new contracts are in place to incorporate 2.5 MW of solar electric projects at corporate locations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Oregon, USA.

The manufacturer of computer chips will expand its existing portfolio of renewable energy installations by installing solar electric panels at 8 US locations over the next 7 months. Each solar project would rank as one of the 10 largest solar installations in its respective region, if they were activated today.

All the solar electric panels will be installed on the roofs of Intel facilities, with the exception of the largest (1 MW) solar field in Folsom, California. That installation will span 6 acres of the campus and will be one of the largest non-utility solar ground-mounts in the state.

“Intel is committed to renewable energy to reduce our own carbon footprint as well as to spur the market and make renewables more economically feasible for individuals and businesses to deploy," explains Brian Krzanich of Intel. "These announcements represent our broader commitment which includes diversifying our energy portfolio through solar and other clean energy investments, and this will continue to be a priority for us around the globe.”

All the new solar installations will use the renewable power generated at their respective site. As a key element of Intel's solar installations, awareness kiosks are set up in the lobby of each site to educate and engage employees in energy efforts.

Intel's renewable energy efforts

Intel was recognised by the Environmental Protection Agency as the top purchaser in the USA of green power under EPA’s Green Power Partnership. The Santa Clara firm buys 1.4 TWh a year of Green-e certified facilities to supply 51% of its corporate demand for electricity.  It was recognised as EPA’s ‘Partner of the Year’ in 2008 and 2009.

The new solar installations and Intel’s reaffirmed commitment to purchasing RECs (renewable energy certificates) reflect Intel's commitment to energy from wind, solar, geothermal, small hydro and biomass sources. Since 2001, Intel has invested US$30 million and saved 650 GWh from energy conservation and efficiency initiatives.

In July 2009, Intel Capital, the company’s global investment organisation, invested US$10m in five cleantech investments, boosting its total to US$125m for companies on four continents. Four of the 12 recent investments have been in solar photovoltaics.

Intel's Bangalore site in India hosted the company's first solar thermal installation where solar water heaters supply 100% of the hot water requirements for two campuses, saving 70 MW of capacity. Intel Oregon energised the company's first solar electric system on the roof of its Jones Farm site early last year.

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Energy efficiency  •  Geothermal  •  Green building  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity  •  Solar heating and cooling  •  Wind power