The rooftop installation, currently at 1.2 megawatts (MW), is part of the planned 10 MW Rinehart Solar Farm. The massive solar array, spanning the company’s 318,000 square foot corporate offices and solar module production facility in Lake Mary, Florida, is still growing. An additional 800 kilowatts is under construction, bringing the rooftop installation’
In addition to its noteworthy size, the Rinehart Solar Farm is believed to be the first of its kind in North America, providing power to BCE’s corporate offices and its wholly owned manufacturing subsidiary, Advanced Solar Photonics (ASP) and making ASP one of the first manufacturers of photovoltaic (PV) panels to be powered by energy generated from its own solar farm.
Plans call for the Rinehart Solar Farm to generate the balance of 5 MW of energy needed to power equipment for ASP’s 100 MW capacity plant by the 2012 First Quarter. Upon completion, the Rinehart Solar Farm is expected produce an estimated 15 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year – enough to displace over 6,100 metric tons of CO2 annually, the equivalent of taking nearly 1,700 cars off the road. BCE also has an agreement with Progress Energy Florida for the purchase of energy generated from the solar farm.
Initially anticipating the addition of approximately 100 employment opportunities, the company has added more than 180 high-paying, high-skilled jobs while building local expertise in solar energy since 2009. On track to reach over 500 new jobs within two to three years and increase the size of their existing Seminole County facility, BCE is continuing to hire, centering its expansion in the areas of manufacturing as well as its development of utility scale solar farm projects in Central Florida. Job seekers can find additional information on open positions at http://www.bluechipenergy.org/
About BlueChip Energy, LLC
BlueChip Energy, LLC (BCE) is a fully integrated solar PV power generator, occupying all segments of the solar power value chain -- from the manufacturing of solar panels and balance of systems components by its wholly owned subsidiary Advanced Solar Photonics, to the sale of turnkey solar power plants, to the sale of solar electricity to utility, commercial and residential customers. BCE develops, finances, builds, operates and monitors solar plants for companies and individuals, as well as for its own portfolio.
BCE’s two flagship utility scale solar projects, the Rinehart Solar Farm (10 MW) and the Sorrento Solar Farm (40 MW), are approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as self-certified small power production facilities, or Qualified Facilities (QFs) requiring the local utility to provide interconnection to them and purchase the electricity they produce. Additionally, both solar farms are approved to operate as Exempt Wholesale Generators (EWGs), providing the facilities with undisputed access to the power distribution network. FERC granted the company Market-Based Rate Authorization, allowing BCE to purchase and sell wholesale electricity and offer renewable energy products to customers.