WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. - By the end of 2008, the world headquarters of Merck & Co. Inc. in Whitehouse Station, N.J., will have the largest ground-mounted solar power tracking system in the eastern half of the United States. A 1.6-megawatt SunPower solar tracking power system, comprising approximately 7,000 solar panels, will cover seven acres of Merck’s 1,000-acre site.
Through a type of arrangement that is making large solar installations more feasible, the system will be owned and operated by UTC Power, a United Technologies Corp. company. UTC Power will supply solar power to Merck under a 20-year power purchase agreement. UTC Power also will own, and be free to trade, the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) and other environmental attributes associated with the system.
The solar power system will supply up to 7 percent of Merck’s electrical energy needs at its headquarters, where approximately 2,800 people work. Construction is underway and the system is expected to be operational by the end of 2008. The project will be among the largest of its type at any corporate setting in the country.
“As a health care company, we are concerned about our environment,” said Roger Humphrey, executive director, Merck Global Services. “Supporting the use of clean, reliable solar power is consistent with our business mission. We also expect to realize energy savings by reducing the amount of electricity we need to purchase from the grid.”
The project is being developed by Dome-Tech Inc., a UTC Power company based in New Jersey, which specializes in energy consulting and project development and has extensive solar energy experience. Dome-Tech has performed energy audits and services for Merck over a 15-year period to help ensure energy is used efficiently at Merck facilities. The new solar system will be installed by SunPower, a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels, and solar systems, under a turnkey contract with UTC Power.
It is estimated that the project will generate 2.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,300 tons per year.
“UTC Power is expanding its capability to provide clean energy and sustainable services for building owners,” said Ken Fox, UTC Power vice president of on-site power solutions. “While our traditional focus has been on fuel cell and microturbine-based products, we recognize our customers may require a broader range of services, products, and financial solutions to meet their energy needs.”
Charles Braunstein, Dome-Tech president, added, “Companies like Merck that take a comprehensive approach and combine traditional energy conservation measures with supporting clean, renewable energy sources are the most effective at reducing energy consumption and helping to reverse the effects of climate change.”
For more information, visit www.dome-tech.com.
Sept. 11, 2008: Largest Solar Power Tracking System in Eastern U.S. to be Installed
September 11, 2008