The largest industrial investment in the history of South Carolina will soon become the home of the largest single rooftop solar array in the United States. Boeing Co., the Seattle-based manufacturer of jetliners, will install approximately ten acres of solar panels on the roof of their $750 million facility in North Charleston, SC. The solar farm will be the sixth largest in the U.S. and one of the biggest in the Southeast.
South Carolina Electric & Gas, who will own and maintain the solar panels, chose the NC-based Baker Renewable Energy to implement the project. Four 700-watt kilowatt inverters from General Electric and 18,095 solar panels will create up to 2.6 megawatts of electricity, which is enough carbon-free energy to power about 250 homes.
Jason Epstein, executive vice president of Baker Renewable Energy said: “This single project will be the equivalent to twice the solar that has currently been installed in the state of South Carolina.” Epstein predicted that the project will create 12-15 permanent jobs in the North Charleston area.
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said, since the 787 Dreamliner produced in the SC plant was designed to protect the environment by using fewer hazardous materials, consuming less fuel and producing fewer emissions, it followed that the plant would be built in a similar way. This project will be a big step toward Boeing’s goal of operating their new facility solely from renewable energy sources. The solar panels are expected to begin producing energy in September, two months after the 787 plant is slated to start airplane production.
Via: The Post and Courier, Baker Renewable Energy, Charleston Inspired
Images: Charleston Inspired, The Post and Courier, Baker Renewable Energy, SeattlePi