UPS (NYSE: UPS) has recently announced that the company has invested in two new solar projects at its New Jersey facilities, one in Parsippany and the other in Secaucus. These facilities showcase the business benefits of owning and operating sustainable energy systems and demonstrate the company’s commitment to increase the use of renewable energy resources in the U.S. and throughout the world. The Parsippany project was completed in the fall of 2012 and the Secaucus project is said to be finished this spring; both will be 1.2 megawatt facilities. The combined power of these projects is said to be equivalent to providing electricity for more than 300 homes annually. UPS will be using a direct ownership approach by developing, engineering, purchasing, and operating the solar panel arrays in-house. Differing from the typical model of outsourcing roof space for solar panels to a third party, UPS has revealed the best practices to produce a strong return on its investment in current and future developments. Technology improvements, lower prices for solar panel installation, and availability of government incentives has encouraged UPS to finance and build its own solar projects. The company’s approach of operating its own systems can also help community power grids by providing a hedge against possible energy price hikes during peak usage times.
New Jersey is a state with one of the nation’s most progressive solar energy policies and is currently second in the U.S. for total installed capacity of solar energy technology. The New York-Northern New Jersey area historically has high peak demand periods for kilowatt hours, especially during summer months. These facilities will help protect against these peak times because they will typically operate during off-peak hours, allowing a significant portion of the renewable energy to flow back to the grid in what is known as net metering. UPS has been investing in solar power development since 2004, when solar panels were installed on a facility in Palm Springs, California. Since, the company’s solar power development has also spread to its European regional air hub in Cologne, Germany.
UPS has taken the role of the end user. They have developed the project from start to finish, employing their own engineers, instead of relying on installer companies. SOLAR 2013 will have an added focus on end-users.
Source: UPS News Release, UPS Expands Renewable Energy Output at New Jersey Facilities- Demonstrate Economically-Viable Solar Projects