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HP switches to renewable energy sources

Posted: 30 Nov 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wind power  sun power  HP facilities 

Hewlett-Packard has announced relationships with two renewable energy providers—SunPower Corp. in the United States and Airtricity in Ireland—as part of the company's strategy to reduce its global carbon footprint.

Under a power purchase agreement with SunPower, HP will install its first large-scale solar power installation at its U.S. facility in San Diego, California. The contract with Airtricity will ensure that nearly 90 per cent of HP's energy use its Ireland facilities is renewable, exceeding the company's 2007 target for carbon emission reductions.

"Switching to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power makes both environmental and business sense," said Pat Tiernan, VP for social and environmental responsibility, HP. "These advances are just part of HP's comprehensive energy-efficiency program, which we believe is the most aggressive in the technology industry."

Wind in Ireland
HP's contract with Airtricity, a renewable energy company developing and operating wind farms across Europe and North America, is for the supply of renewable wind energy to a number of its facilities in Ireland for fiscal year 2008. The electricity supplied by Airtricity is generated by both onshore and offshore wind farms.

Through the contract, HP will purchase more than 80GW-hrs of renewable energy. It is estimated that the agreement will save HP approximately Rs.15.82 lakh ($40,000) over the year-long contract. HP also expects to cut its carbon-dioxide emission by more than 40,000 tonnes, or the equivalent to taking 9,600 cars off the road for one year.

Sun in the United States
HP's agreement with SunPower covers installation of a 1MW solar electric power system and required maintenance of the system for the next 15 years. HP will buy back solar power at a reduced, locked-in rate under the SunPower Access program. The HP solar electric system will be financed and owned by a third-party financier, which allows HP to take advantage of the environmental and financial benefits of solar with no upfront capital costs.

Initial estimates indicate that the project will save HP approximately Rs.2.97 crore ($750,000) in energy costs during the next 15 years. HP also will earn renewable energy credits as the installation will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1 million pounds per year, or nearly 16 million pounds during the next 15 years.

With this project, HP is taking advantage of incentives provided under the California Public Utilities Commission's California Solar Initiative, which aims to increase solar energy use statewide.

At the San Diego site, the SunPower installation will include 5,000 solar panels atop five of the seven buildings. The panels, which are made up of photovoltaic cells, will convert the sun's light energy into approximately 1,676,000kW-hrs of electrical energy per year—enough to provide more than 10 per cent of energy use at the San Diego facility.

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