Chicken Giant Gets Solar, Goes For LEED Gold

You know the brand as the largest supplier of fresh chickens in the grocery store, but Perdue has also recently become host to one of the biggest commercially owned solar power systems on the East Coast. The company recently announced the completion of a photovoltaic array at it corporate headquarters in Salisbury, Md., that consists of 5,040 solar panels and covers six acres of company property. The installation is the final phase of nearly 12,000 panels installed at two Perdue facilities. The first phase of the installation, in Bridgeville, Del., was completed in August 2011.

Together, the two PV systems will generate a combined average of 3,700-megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity each year, enough to meet as much as 90 percent of the electrical demand for each facility. The systems are owned by Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) of Herndon, VA, and power generated from the system will be purchased by Perdue under a long-term power purchase agreement. Both systems were installed by Rockville-based solar developer Standard Solar.

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image via Standard Solar

“This installation is so much more than just an environmental statement for Perdue,” said Scott Wiater, president, Standard Solar. “It is also an ideal way for the company to manage its energy costs now and into the future. We commend them for their forward thinking and their leadership in embracing renewable energy.”

Perdue is also currently renovating its Maryland office to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards. And the company said was seeking to integrate other alternative energy technologies into its operations, including a biogas-to-energy project at its Cromwell, Ky. poultry processing facility.

Here’s a company-provided video of the Maryland solar installation process:

Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).