Perdue is big on agribusiness, and now it’s going big on solar, too. The company recently entered into a 15-year power purchase agreement with Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES), which will purchase the energy produced by more than 11,000 solar panels slated for installation at two Perdue facilities this summer in Maryland and Delaware. When complete, the project is expected to be one of the largest commercially-owned solar power systems in the eastern United States.
Perdue and WGES will be working with Standard Solar, Inc., to install the ground-mounted solar panels, which–all told–will cover the equivalent of approximately 10 football fields. Around half will be located at Perdue corporate offices in Salisbury, Maryland, and will be visible to traffic on westbound U.S. Route 50; the rest are slated for the company’s feed mill in Bridgeville, Delaware.
While WGES will purchase extra power produced by these solar projects, the main aim here is to cut Perdue’s substantial carbon footprint by 3,000 tons a year. This is said to be the equivalent of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from 300,000 gallons of gasoline per year, or nearly 4.5 million gallons through the life of the contract.
The systems, which will be owned and operated by WGES, will generate an average of 3,700 megawatt hours of electricity each year, or the amount of power used by 340 typical U.S. homes. At peak production, it is said, the panels will produce as much as 90 percent of the electrical demand for each facility.