Hershey, PA, June 11, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- ESI Solar completes the first large scale solar canopy for Hershey's Chocolate World.
248kW Solar Canopy will generate power for Hershey’s Chocolate World facility and supports electric vehicle charging stations.
The animated characters that smile down upon the nearly three million visitors to Hershey’s Chocolate World now also look upon 420 feet of solar panels directly outside the entrance. The Chocolate World solar canopy encompasses a structure 420 feet long by 48 feet wide and contains 1078 solar modules. It will produce 248 kWh of electricity per year. In addition, there are two charging stations capable of charging four electric vehicles simultaneously.
This is Hershey’s first venture into large scale solar photovoltaics (PV) and they have made a very visible statement using solar PV to partially offset the facilities substantial electrical usage. In addition to producing renewable electricity from the sun, the solar canopy also serves a dual purpose in protecting visitors from the elements and providing an electric vehicle (EV) charging station.
According Mike Schmerl, Lead Project Designer and Managing Partner of ESI, “The scope of the project was obviously to build a structure to produce solar energy. However, we thought how can we make this practical, attractive and something that could have multiple uses versus just an array of solar panels? To achieve this goal we combined the functionality of the canopy to protect visitors during inclement weather and attached PEP electric vehicle (EV) charging stations-all within an eye catching structure.
In addition, there is a digital kiosk inside Hershey’s Chocolate World that offers a visual representation of the energy the solar canopy produces. Visitors will be able to see how the energy is used, what amount of carbon offset they’ve created, educational information regarding Hershey’s Corporate Social Responsibility programs and its commitment to the environment.
Kevin Melly, Director of Energy, Utilities and Project Management said, “The solar canopy is a new and evolving part of Hershey’s commitment to energy conservation and environmental stewardship. In addition to the solar canopy, Hershey has completed lighting efficiency projects, boiler efficiency projects and Bio-gas projects. Over the past two years these efforts have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 12% and we are well on our way to achieving a 15% reduction by the end of 2011.”
While not as visible, Hershey has also affixed another 180 photovoltaic panels to their Technical Center located on Reese Avenue in Hershey, PA. Those panels replaced an older solar thermal installation that Hershey installed back in 1978.
“We deployed the solar thermal, which was the most cutting edge and efficient renewable energy at the time and 33 years later we’ve upgraded to the new, significantly more efficient photovoltaic panels. It’s a great example of how the Hershey company consistently tries to utilize the latest green technologies where appropriate,” according to Mr. Melly.
About Energy Systems & Installation, Inc. (ESI)
ESI is a commercial-scale integrator that assists companies with the design, finance, purchase, and installation of renewable energy systems. ESI has worked with municipalities, large companies, and agribusinesses to incorporate cost-effective green technologies into their operations.
ESI also plays a key role in the education and job training of renewable energies. The company has partnered with Harrisburg Area Community College to provide certified training courses in solar and other alternative energy technologies.
ESI is located in Jonestown, Lebanon County, and can be reached at 717-861-4012 or email@example.com.