Boeing To Install Largest Solar Rooftop In U.S.

Boeing Solar Project
Rendering of Boeing Solar Project via SCE&G

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.

Boeing Solar Project
One of the photovoltaic solar panels to be installed on roof of Boeing plant.

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.

Boeing Solar Project
Baker Renewable Energy Photovoltaic System

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 Solar Project
Boeing Charleston Site Rendering

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

4 thoughts on “Boeing To Install Largest Solar Rooftop In U.S.”

  1. Baker Renewable just announced they’ve completed the installation for this Boeing project. Fantastic! Now let’s see how well this works.
    Haven’t been able to find any numbers on what this cost.
    It’s disappointing that the nameplate capacity would only be enough for 250 homes – that would be more than 600 homes in Europe.

  2. I wonder what the energy savings pay-off will be compared to the initial price paid for the construction compared with regular electricity costs.

    1. JustinLee904@GMAILdotCOM

      Depends on where you are, what electric company you are a customer of, and whether you are interested in solar pv panels (electric) or solar thermal panels (strictly for hot water). An electric hot water heater comprises about 30% of your electric bill. Going solar can save about 80% of that in Florida, for example. You could save about $36 off a $150 a month electric bill. A solar thermal system for a household of about 4/ cost about $6,000/ utility company rebate about $1000/ brings you to about $5000 installed with a 30% Federal tax credit. Minus your tax credit brings you to about $3500. And some of the major Florida utility companies are offering a larger incentive. It can pay off pretty fast and add value to your home or property fairly quickly.

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