United Natural Foods, Inc. last week dedicated a one-megawatt (MW) solar electric system at the Company’s 487,000 square foot distribution facility in Rocklin, CA. Built by American Capital Energy, a Massachusetts-based firm specializing in solar power project integration, the four-acre rooftop solar system is expected to generate approximately 1.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year.
The system also qualified for a $2.1 million solar rebate from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). At the dedication, PG&E awarded an oversized check representing the solar rebate that United Natural Foods earned through the California Solar Initiative (CSI), of which PG&E is an administrator.
When the solar array generates more electricity than United Natural Foods is using, it exports the electricity back to the PG&E electrical grid, earning United Natural Foods credit on electricity that it can draw upon whenever it needs more electricity than the solar panels generate, such as at night.
Michael Funk, President and CEO of United Natural Foods, commented, “Our organization remains keenly focused on our environmental responsibilities and it is especially gratifying to work towards protecting the environment in Rocklin and the surrounding community. We sincerely appreciate PG&E’s support and assistance with this solar project — it’s truly a win-win situation.”
Through the CSI and the Self-Generation Incentive Program, PG&E has cumulatively awarded more than $205 million in solar rebates to nearly 900 customers, including businesses and many public entities like schools, universities, water districts, and city, county, state and federal agencies.