North Charleston, S.C., Dec. 2, 2011 – South Carolina Electric & Gas and Boeing today officially marked the completion of one of the largest single rooftop solar installations in the United States and the largest in the Southeast, by production capacity. The dedication event signaled the start of renewable energy being generated by the 2.6-megawatt D.C. rooftop photovoltaic system, which is made up of more than 18,000 thin-film photovoltaic solar laminates that cover 10 acres on the roof of the 14-acre Boeing South Carolina 787 Final Assembly building.
“This project is a classic example of working with our customers to supply their energy needs, but with a new twist,” said SCANA Chairman and CEO Kevin Marsh. “SCE&G for the first time is supplying a facility with 100 percent green power. I commend Boeing for their commitment to sustainability and for the opportunity they presented us to supply this site with renewable power.”
The 2.6 megawatts of electrical power generated for the site is enough to power approximately 250 homes. SCE&G began installation of the photovoltaic panels May 16, the same day Boeing teammates began moving into the building. Substantial completion was met Oct. 28.
Under the arrangement with Boeing, SCE&G will own and maintain the solar generation system and will supplement the solar-generated energy with power from its system resources, coupled with green attributes from its North Charleston biomass generator, to meet all of Boeing’s energy requirements.
The solar installation on the roof will provide clean, renewable power for the Boeing site, and all of that power will stay within the Boeing site.
“SCE&G is proud of its partnership with Boeing to provide the technology and the energy for the company’s only location in the world capable of assembling commercial aircraft with 100 percent renewable energy,” said Jim Landreth, SCE&G vice president of fossil/hydro.
After a bidding process in the spring, SCE&G selected Baker Renewable Energy as the engineering procurement contractor to install the rooftop solar facility. Baker subcontracted with White Electric, and together they performed the engineering, procurement and construction of the solar electric generator.
Three teams worked all summer and into the fall to complete the project. A roofing team installed sheets of roofing membrane on top of the existing roof. A solar team installed the panels and helped with wire management. And an electrical team connected the wires that work with the sun to generate power.
In addition to the team on the roof, a support team handled procurement, coordinated the crane lifts and directed the moving of all of the materials 120 feet from the ground to the roof.
Some of the hardest working crews on the roof this summer were actually college students. Richard Wright with Baker Renewable Energy said students from schools such as Clemson, N.C. State and Pennsylvania State were a part of this project. “It was steady; it was busy. It was great. Everybody enjoyed it, and everybody worked very hard,” Wright said.
While it was a great experience for the college students, the weather conditions often made it a challenge, with many days in which temperatures reached 100+ degrees. Wright said it was about as hot as it could be. “We managed by starting early, working late, working in the evenings. Everybody was accommodating and obviously observing safe work practices,” he said.
Jack Robinson, SCE&G fossil/hydro project manager, agreed that safety was the top priority. “The crews had to adapt, but they had safety at the forefront of this project.”
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 665,000 customers in 24 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 313,000 customers in 38 counties in the state.