Campbell Souping Up Solar Power Capacity

Campbell's Soup - solar panels

4.4MW Of Solar Panels For Campbell Soup Company’s Global HQ

Campbell Soup Company has announced the beginning of construction of a 4.4MW solar electricity plant at its world headquarters in Camden, New Jersey.

“This project contributes clean energy to the local grid and demonstrates to our community the viability of renewable energy sources, all while supporting Campbell’s sustainability strategy to deliver long-term value to our business and neighborhoods,” said Jim Prunesti, Vice President of Global Engineering at Campbell.

The project will feature Sunpower solar panels – SQ blogger Ronald last year referred to Sunpower modules as the best solar panels lots of money can buy.

A project in partnership with BNB Renewable Energy Holdings, SunPower Corp. and ORIX USA Corp., the 5 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year the system is expected to generate will be sold to Campbell through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). Under the agreement, the company will be buying power for cheaper than what it would pay by sourcing electricity from the mains grid (at current rates).

PPA’s have been a popular way for large companies to get on the solar bandwagon and lock in/save on energy costs, as most arrangements don’t involve any capital outlay and ongoing maintenance is taken care of by the owners of the project.

2.7MW of solar energy capacity will be installed on the rooftops of existing structures at the Campbell facility, as well as new solar car park canopies that are to be constructed. A further 1.7MW will be installed at an adjacent 4.5-acre remediated brownfield site.

“Brownfield” is a term referring to land previously used for industrial or commercial purposes that has become contaminated in some way as a result of those activities. According to the US EPA, there are more than 450,000 brownfields across the USA. While their history precludes various activities, some of these remediated brownfield sites are perfect for solar electricity generation; mitigating potential land resource conflicts.

Also part of the Camden project are five electric vehicle-charging stations for use by the company’s employees.

Other Solar Energy Projects And Sustainability Efforts

This is the third solar power project BNB has developed for Campbell; the others being a 9.8MW system at the company’s facility in Napoleon, Ohio, and a 1MW solar array at Campbell’s Pepperidge Farm bakery in Bloomfield, Connecticut that meets 15 percent of the bakery’s annual energy demand.

The company has set a goal of sourcing 40 percent of its electricity from renewable or alternative energy sources by 2020.

With regard to its broader sustainability efforts, Campbell Soup Company says it has reduced its energy usage by 9 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 23 percent per tonne of food produced since 2008, and has also made solid inroads in reducing water consumption and waste.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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