PRINCETON, USA: Munich Reinsurance America (Munich Re) and SunPower Corp. announced that SunPower will design and build a 2.5-megawatt solar power system at Munich Re's Plainsboro, N.J. facility.
SunPower will install its high-efficiency solar panels on a carport structure that will provide shade for the facility's parking lot while reducing annual electricity costs by almost $500,000. Most importantly, the Munich Re solar energy system will benefit the environment with an annual carbon footprint reduction equivalent to removing more than 400 cars from the road, according to estimates provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Munich Re is committed to the development of regulations and products designed to cut greenhouse gases. Convinced that one of the best ways to lead is by example, the company adopted a carbon-neutral strategy for its reinsurance activities. The company achieved carbon neutrality in its Munich headquarters in 2009, and targets 2012 to be carbon neutral throughout its worldwide reinsurance group operations.
"The success of our core business is inextricably linked to environmental protection, so a sustainable approach is an indispensable component of our business strategy," said Tony Kuczinski, president and CEO of Munich Reinsurance America. "With the benefit of SunPower's experience and technology, our solar carport system will maximize the solar power generated onsite, optimizing our savings and reducing the need for the public utility to burn fossil fuel. It's good for business, our community and the environment."
"SunPower solar panels, the most efficient available, are guaranteed to perform for 25 years, delivering more solar energy per square foot than all other solar panels on the market today," said Tom Leyden, MD at SunPower. "As a result, Munich Re will enjoy significant long-term economic benefits of this solar carport system, maximizing the return on their investment. The system will also help New Jersey meet its renewable energy goals."
Construction on the system will begin this year, and it will be operational in the second half of 2012. Munich Re will sell the solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) and environmental benefits associated with the system, enabling the regional utilities to meet their renewable portfolio standard requirements.