Intel plans eight new solar power installations

Intel now tops EPA's Green PowerPartner List -- though Dell stands out for buying more green power than it needs

Intel today announced plans for eight new solar power installations, spread out among four U.S. states. Part of the company's ongoing initiative to boost energy efficiency and embrace conservation, the sites will generate approximately 2.5 megawatts of clean energy, according to Intel. The company timed the announcement to coincide with the release of the EPA's Green Power Partner List for 2010, which ranks the leading purchasers of renewable energy among organizations throughout the United States.

The chipmaker is installing the solar power equipment at locations in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Oregon, and they are scheduled for completion within seven months, Intel reports. If they were activated today, each project would rank among the 10 largest solar installations in its respective region, the company says.

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All of the solar panels will be installed on the roofs of Intel's facilities, except for the largest installation, an approximately 1-megawatt solar field in Folsom, Calif. The Folsom installation will span nearly six acres of land on campus, "which would make it one of the largest non-utility ground-mounts in California at the time of this release," Intel said in its announcement.

Intel reports that since the inception of its conservation program in 2001, it has saved more than 650 million kilowatt hours of energy.

In conjunction with Intel's announcement about its solar installation projects, the company reported that it's now No. 1 on the EPA's Green Power Partner list for 2010, having renewed and increased its purchase commitments for renewable energy credits (REC) to more than 1.43 billion kWh. Green power represents 51 percent of the company's total electricity use, according to the EPA.

Dell stands out on the list as well. Ranked at No. 6, the company boasts purchasing around 430 million kWh of green power per year -- 29 percent more power than the company uses overall, according to the EPA.

Cisco is No. 8 on the list; it reports purchasing 400 million kWh of green energy per year, which represents 46 percent of its overall electricity usage.

Other information technology companies on the list include Sony, which is ranked No. 44 with 83 million kWh of green energy. AMD, meanwhile, is ranked at 48 with more than 73 million kWh worth of green energy purchases. Like Dell, AMD purchases more green power than the overall amount of energy it uses per year.

The company's investments in clean energy are spurred both by economic and environmental interests. "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 at Intel.

This story, "Intel plans eight new solar-power installations," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in green IT at InfoWorld.com.

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