Intel Going Solar

Intel’s amazing success has been based on silicon and now the world’s leading computer chip maker will be using silicon in a different way – to generate solar power.

Intel Corporation today announced new contracts to install approximately 2.5 megawatts worth of new solar farm projects at eight U.S. locations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Oregon. Intel Oregon flicked the switch on the company’s first solar power system on the roof of its Jones Farm site in early 2009

All of the solar panels will be installed on the roofs of Intel’s facilities, with the major exception being a 1-megawatt solar farm in Folsom, California that will cover nearly six acres of land. The company says each project would currently rank as one of the 10 largest solar farms in its respective region if activated today

Intel is a huge consumer of electricity but says that since 2001, the company has invested more than USD $30 million and saved more than 650 million kilowatt hours from energy efficiency initiatives.

Intel also recently increased its renewable energy certificate (REC) purchases by 10 percent to more than 1.43 billion kilowatt hours and powering more than 51 percent of Intel’s estimated U.S. electricity use

Intel’s REC purchases equate to the avoidance of carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of nearly 134,000 average American homes or nearly 200,000 passenger cars removed from the streets for 1 year according to the company.