York, Pennsylvania, USA – One segment of the US solar market that hasn’t been growing as fast as the residential and utility-scale markets is the commercial market, that is, installations ranging from 1 MW to 10 MW in size that are usually installed on commercial businesses. A groundbreaking today is bucking that trend.
Today, Pennsylvania-based GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSK) will begin installing what it says is North America’s largest rooftop solar array at its Northeast Regional Distribution Center (RDC) in York, Pa. At its completion, the 3-MW installation will consist of nearly 11,000 solar panels that will cover an area on the roof about the size of seven American football fields.
Nearly 100 workers will spend the next two months hoisting the panels to the roof with a crane, securing them into place and networking them into the power system. American Capital Energy, the company responsible for the project, plans to install about 500 panels per day.
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare received government funding and solar incentives to help finance the project. A $1 million grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Commonwealth Financing Authority and $4.1 million in federal tax credits will help pay for the project. GSK will also utilize energy savings and Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) to offset costs.