Boeing, which is in the process of manufacturing its new 787 Dreamliner, and South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) have announced an energy partnership that will enable Boeing South Carolina to operate as a 100% renewable energy site.
The new Boeing 787 Final Assembly building roof is to be fitted with thin-film solar laminate panels owned, installed and maintained by SCE&G This solar installation will provide up to 2.6 megawatts of electrical power for the site, enough to power approximately 250 homes. Boeing says the installation will be the largest in the Southeast by production capacity, and the sixth largest in the U.S.
Apparently, even 2.6 megawatts won’t be quite enough power to fulfill Boeing’s needs. The arrangement involves SCE&G installing the solar system and dedicating its power to the Boeing site. The utility will then supplement the solar energy with power from its system resources, coupled with renewable energy certificates from its renewable generating facility.
Interestingly enough, some controversy surrounds Boeing’s South Carolina assembly plant. On the same day Boeing announced its solar plans for the facility, the company also stated its intention to “vigorously contest” an allegation by the National Labor Relations Board that its decision to build the plant outside of its Washington State headquarters was a method of discouraging union strikes.