Although modern rooftop solar systems have been around for decades, they’ve grown increasingly popular over the past few years. With a move towards a clean energy economy and financial incentives offered by the federal government, state governments, and even utility companies, we’re seeing more businesses and consumers turn to the sun to meet their energy needs.

FedEx Ground is just one of these companies. However, the system installed by BP Solar takes solar array to a new level — the installation covers 3.3 acres of rooftop, making it the largest rooftop solar installation in the nation. This installation is located at the FedEx Ground Hub in Woodbridge, N.J., and is capable of producing 2.6 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year. This would provide up to 30 percent of the facility’s annual energy needs.

The 2.42-megawatt solar power system is made up of 12,400 solar panels spread over 3.3 total acres of rooftop space on the facility. The energy produced from this system is equal to the energy used by more than 250 households in a year, will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,867 metric tons annually, will prevent 13 acres of forest from deforestation, and is equal to removing 340 passenger vehicles from the roads for a full year.

The solar system was completed in 2009, and although it is the largest FedEx solar installation, it is not the first. A FedEx facility in Oakland, Calif., received a 904-kilowatt system in 2005. Two systems were installed in 2008 — one in Whittier, Calif., (282 kilowatt) and Fontana, Calif., (269 kilowatt). A 1.4-megawatt system is scheduled to be installed at the Central and Eastern European Hub in Germany later this year.

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