GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, has plans to incorporate eco-friendly energy to meet their power needs. The company is focusing on building a solar rooftop array at their distribution center in York, a city in the State of Pennsylvania, and construction is expected to be complete by December 2010.
The array will be the size of seven American football fields (360,000 square feet or seven acres), which will make it the largest solar array in the world. This would be able to meet all of the energy requirements of the pharmaceutical facility, which would become the first GSK building to be completely run on renewable energy. Specifically, the 3 MW array would be capable of producing 3,400,000 kilowatt hours of energy per year, which is the amount of energy it takes to power 400 average-sized American homes each year.
The array will have 11,000 solar panels, each of which will weigh approximately 60 pounds and measure about six feet long and more than three feet wide. It is expected that the energy harnessed through the panels will exceed the requirements of the facility.
The pharma company has intentions of implementing a similar energy harnessing model at the rest of its distribution centers. Sources at the company say that the success of this first solar array will contribute to the scope and implementation of these plans, which will use it as an eco-model. The next center to undergo a renewable renovation will be the Fresno, California facility.
GSK has recently committed to reducing their energy consumption (from their 2006 levels) by 45 percent by the year 2015. The solar array will help the company to reduce CO2 emissions by 3,000 tons annually.