United Natural Foods going solar at DC

United Natural Foods Inc plans to install a 1.19-megawatt solar power system that will cover 175,000 square feet of rooftop at the company's 487,000-sq-ft distribution facility (DC) in Rocklin CA. To develop and install the system, UNFI contracted with American Capital Energy, a Massachusetts-based firm specializing in solar power project integration.

Construction of the Rocklin solar power project began in July 2007, with the power-generating panels expected to be in operation by the end of summer 2007. The Rocklin solar power system will use more than 7,000 Sharp 170 solar modules, two SatCon 500 kW inverters, and the Unirac S-5 mounting system for a non-penetrating and low-profile installation.

When completed, the solar power system is expected to provide an average of approximately 1.5 million kWh annually of clean energy production at this facility, which is the equivalent of powering 140 average American households for a year, and is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 19 metric tons annually.

The Rocklin facility is the headquarters for UNFI's Western Region and is the largest DC in its nationwide network.

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