Costco to use renewable energy

first_imgLANCASTER – Costco Wholesale Corp.’s Lancaster warehouse store will get some of its electricity from the sun. Southern California-based Permacity Corp. is installing hundreds of RWE Schott Solar photovoltaic panels on the flat store roof. Each panel can produce 310 watts, and 1,860 panels atop the store will provide as much as 40 percent of the building’s peak electrical load on a summer day. “It seems like a good environment for solar power,” said Craig Peal, a Costco official. “It’s high desert, and Southern California power prices are fairly high.” This is Costco’s first solar-power system, a practical test of how well it works. Costco officials hope solar power will supply 19 percent of the Lancaster store’s electricity year-around. “We’re looking at other sites” that could also use solar power, added Peal, an assistant vice president. Permacity designed a nonpenetrating roof mounting system, for which it is obtaining a patent, that holds the modules off the aluminum roof at a 10-degree angle. The modules help shade the roof, decreasing the work required from the building’s air conditioners. When finished, the local Costco’s photovoltaic system will be among the largest in the United States of those that are privately owned, Permacity officials said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesThe local system is expected to be operational in late August or early September. Permacity has installed solar-power systems on other large commercial buildings around Southern California, as well as on residential buildings in the Los Angeles area, the Coachella Valley and Kern County. Customers seem interested in helping the environment as well as reducing rising power costs, said Jonathan Port, president and chief executive officer of Permacity. “Our motto is `the solar evolution.’ I think they want to be part of that,” he said. State rebates and tax incentives help pay for most of the installation cost, Port said, adding, “California seems committed to going the renewable path.” The Lancaster Costco system covers nearly 45,000 square feet of roof area and sits among 200 skylights. last_img