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SAS harnesses the sun’s power

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SAS, with groSolar and FLS Energy, has completed its second solar farm on the company’s Cary, NC, headquarters campus. The new solar farm has a 1.2 megawatt capacity: it will produce an estimated 1.9 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) each year, which is enough to power more than 175 average-size homes.

Situated near the original solar farm system off Trenton Road, SAS Solar Farm 2 comprises some 5,236 ground-mounted photovoltaic panels, covering around 7 acres. The new system incorporates a Ray Tracker tracking system that rotates the assembly for maximum sun exposure. This increases energy capture by up to 25 percent over fixed systems and also greatly reduced the acreage requirements for construction. Progress Energy is purchasing electricity generated from the SAS solar farm.

‚The solar farm is a smart decision for SAS and for the community,‚ said Jerry Williams, Environmental Sustainability Program Manager for SAS. ‚Projects like our solar farm demonstrate a fundamental shift in the value placed on energy efficiency, intelligent power sourcing and end-user consumption. The development and implementation of alternative sources of energy is important for our environment, a stimulus for our economy and a step in the right direction to achieving energy independence.‚

With the estimated 1.7 million kilowatt-hours generated annually by SAS Solar Farm 1, in operation since December 2008, the two combined systems produce enough energy to power more than 325 average-size homes. They also avoid more than 3,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from conventionally produced electricity – the equivalent to the emissions from burning more than 367,000 gallons of gasoline.

At the Cary headquarters campus, SAS’ environmental sustainability program has been adding and expanding on many initiatives for the last several years. The Cary campus also has solar thermal hot water systems, regenerative drive elevators, water and waste conservation projects, active employee engagement efforts as well as two new soon-to-be-completed buildings that are designed to attain LEED certification. Also, SAS for Sustainability Management, launched in 2008, helps organisations accurately measure and manage their environmental impact

‚groSolar applauds SAS and Progress Energy for recognising that solar power is an economically viable energy source for America,‚ said groSolar CEO Jeff Wolfe. ‚We are proud to be helping SAS save money on energy costs while protecting our environment with solar power.‚

‚I am inspired by SAS’ dedication to sustainability,‚ said Michael Shore, FLS Energy CEO. ‚I know of no other company in the Southeast who is developing more solar than SAS. FLS Energy is honoured to be part of yet another clean energy project at their Cary headquarters.‚

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