ACHRNEWS

Distribution Center Achieves Net-Zero Energy Use

June 18, 2012
rooftop solar power system at McCormick & Company
Constellation Energy’s rooftop solar power system at McCormick & Company’s Belcamp, Md., distribution center. (Photo: Constellation Energy)

BALTIMORE — McCormick & Company Inc. and Constellation Energy, a business unit of Exelon, have announced that McCormick’s 363,000-square-foot distribution center in Belcamp, Md., now generates more electricity than it uses though the implementation of energy efficiency and solar power.

The center is considered a net-zero energy building, which means it produces as much or more electricity than it consumes from the grid. For McCormick’s Belcamp facility, this was achieved through energy conservation measures implemented by McCormick and the installation of a 1.8-megawatt rooftop solar power system from Constellation Energy in 2011. Constellation Energy currently owns and operates more than 100 megawatts of solar installations that have been completed or are under construction for commercial and government customers throughout the United States.

“This is a milestone for our solar power projects and represents tangible evidence of our robust corporate social responsibility efforts,” said Jeff Blankman, sustainable manufacturing manager for McCormick. “During a five-year period we were able to reduce electricity use at Belcamp by 55 percent through energy efficient interior and exterior lighting, occupancy sensors, HVAC upgrades, and energy efficient pallet conveyors. With the addition of hosting solar power, the facility generated a surplus of more than 16,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in a one-year period. McCormick’s Belcamp distribution center reinforces that net-zero energy use is achievable and affordable for large commercial buildings.”

Constellation Energy built, owns, and maintains the solar power system at the Belcamp facility as well as a nearly 1-megawatt solar installation at McCormick’s Spice Mill in Hunt Valley, Md., and a smaller solar installation at McCormick’s corporate headquarters building in Sparks, Md. McCormick purchases all of the electricity generated by the solar panels at less than current market rates under separate 20-year power purchase agreements.

“On-site solar generation is an economic and practical way for more and more companies to achieve their sustainability goals and control their electricity costs,” said Michael D. Smith, vice president of solar and efficiency sales for Constellation Energy. “Additionally, through conservation measures, which are essential to any effective energy management strategy, businesses can realize further savings. In many cases, Constellation can offer its customers the ability to bundle the costs of energy efficiency upgrades with their electricity spend, allowing them to leverage existing operational budgets for needed capital improvements.”

By structuring its solar projects as solar services agreements or power purchase agreements, Constellation Energy requires no upfront capital from its customers and is able to provide power at a fixed cost that is less than projected market rates.

For more information, visit www.constellation.com.

Publication date: 6/18/2012