Intel is building 2.5MW of new solar generation in 8 states; continues to lead all US companies in green energy purchases.
The world's largest chip maker, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), made a huge incursion into solar power generation today with the announcement that it is adding to its clean energy portfolio with 2.5 megawatts worth of new solar power projects at eight U.S. locations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Oregon.
In addition to the new on-site generation, Intel is also upping its renewable energy purchases by 10 percent to 1.43 billion kilowatt-hours a year of renewable energy certificates. The move solidifies the company's position as the largest voluntary purchaser of green power in the United States.
"Intel is committed to renewable energy to reduce our own carbon footprint as well as to spur the market and make renewables more economically feasible for individuals and businesses to deploy," said Brian Krzanich, vice president and general manager of Manufacturing and Supply Chain for Intel.
"This will continue to be a priority for us around the globe," added Krzanich.
Solar, wind, geothermal: A golden opportunity for tech companies?
Intel's announcement puts it among the leaders in the U.S. tech industry for on-site solar power generation. While retail giants like Walmart (17MW), Kohl's (15MW), Macy's (10MW) and Safeway (4.5MW) have all been making use of their abundant roof spaces to install solar photovoltaic panels, the tech industry has been a little slow on the solar uptake.
Not to be overlooked, Google did build a 1.6MW solar installation at their Mountain View, California headquarters, which was the largest U.S. corporate installation at that time. More recently, Google has focused its clean energy efforts on investing in companies working on geothermal, battery storage, high-altitude wind power, and solar thermal technologies. The thinking being that while rooftop solar is good, big technological breakthroughs are needed
Most companies do not have the kind of capital resources to invest millions of dollars in clean tech startups and renewable energy research that Google does, which is why Intel's push into on-site solar generation is a good fit for an industry that is so dependent on an abundant supply of reliable electricity. Tech companies are slowly becoming aware that on-site clean energy generation can make good business sense on so many fronts, not the least of which is providing back-up power for their massive servers and data centers.
Intel's new solar installations are planned to be completed over the next 7 months. Once completed, each one will be one of the ten largest such facilities in its respective state.
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