Toys 'R' Us to Build Largest Solar Rooftop
“Toys ‘R’ Us”... Simply saying it is enough to throw most children into a fit of joyous toy-lusting hysteria. But alternative energy buffs may soon be sharing the children’s excitement as the toy distribution giant announces the construction of North America’s largest rooftop solar installation to be featured on the company’s Flanders, New Jersey (USA) distribution center.
The 5.38 MW solar installation will begin construction this summer. The rooftop megaproject will cover 20 acres of roof space and generate 72 percent of the facility’s electricity needs.
Toys ‘R’ Us’ solar rooftop will feature 37,000 thin-film United Solar photovoltaic panels. Constellation Energy will build, own and maintain the rooftop solar system and Toys ‘R’ Us will purchase electricity generated by the system through a 20-year power purchase agreement.
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Toys ‘R’ Us has been extending renewable energy to various store and locations. The company’s Babies ‘R’ Us brand got a renewable energy upgrade with a solar rooftop installed at a North Brunswick, New Jersey store location. The ‘R’ Superstore in Secaucus, New Jersey will also feature a solar rooftop to be installed this spring in partnership with Hartz Solar.
However, don’t think that just because Toys ‘R’ Us is getting a solar makeover that there isn’t plenty more work to be done as far as sustainability is concerned. Let’s not forget that the majority of toys on the market today are made of petroleum-based plastics, lending to the oil supply problem facing the world. What’s worse, many plastic toys are made with hard-to-recycle plastics, and the presence of multiple types of materials in a single toy makes recycling an even more difficult affair. What would be exciting is to see a toy behemoth like Toys ‘R’ Us promoting toys made from easily recyclable materials or even bioplastics.
W3 Energy signs technical operations contract with Luxcara
The wind farm, located outside of Piteå in northern Sweden, plans to have 137 wind turbines on full installation, with an expected capacity of more than 750 MW.
W3 Energy will be responsible for onsite technical operations management and local accounting services as well as operation and maintenance of the electrical infrastructure and transformer stations.
"This contract strengthens our position as a key player in onsite technical operations management. The Önusberget wind farm is the largest single-site wind power project in Europe and we are proud that Luxcara gives us the trust to support with the operational management of their investment", says W3 Energy's COO André Sjöström.
"The contract with Luxcara is extremely important to us and means that we take a firm grip on our home region. This contract allows us to continue to grow and we plan to continue to recruit in Piteå, Umeå, and Skellefteå."
The new contract with Luxcara means that W3 Energy manages approximately 15% of the renewable energy produced in Sweden and lays the foundation for continuing to build growth in other regions.
"Luxcara is an internationally respected asset manager in renewable energy, with high-quality investment criteria and a strong focus on diversity and sustainability. We share their view on sustainability, with a strong focus on environmental as well as social and ethical aspects", stated W3 Energy's CEO Pär Dunder.
Its past engagement with W3 combined with their track record from other large projects and their local experience were decisive factors for choosing W3 Energy, according to Philip Sander, Managing Director of Luxcara.
Global Wind Day will be held tomorrow (June 15), to promote wind's potential to reshape our energy systems, decarbonise economies and boost jobs and economic growth.
Onshore wind is now the cheapest form of new power generation in most of Europe, and offshore wind is not far behind with costs having fallen over 60% in three years, according to WindEurope.
Adrian Timbus, ETIPWind Chairman, said: “Wind energy can help electrify 75% of Europe’s energy demand and thereby deliver climate neutrality by 2050. But we must prioritise the development of the necessary technologies: next generation onshore and offshore turbines, electrification solutions for transport and for industry, and electrolysers for renewable hydrogen.”
Poland leads Europe's wind growth
Poland saw Europe's biggest increase in wind turbine energy production between 2000 and 2018, according to a Save on Energy study, and produced the fourteenth highest percentage of electricity by wind power overall in 2018.
Czechia has seen second highest percentage increase in electricity production generated by wind power. Despite having the second lowest proportion of electricity generated by wind power in 2018, the country previously produced the lowest percentage overall in 2000, so it has still seen a significant increase in wind turbine energy production over the years.
France has the third largest increase in wind turbine energy production throughout the period studied, with electricity production generated by wind power increasing from 0.009% in 2000, to 4.9% in 2018, while neighbouring Belgium experienced the fourth highest increase in wind energy production, with almost 10% of electricity produced being generated by wind power in 2018, compared to 0.02% in 2000.
Although Ukraine boasted the lowest percentage of electricity produced by wind turbines in 2018 (0.7%), the country had the fifth largest percentage increase since 2000, since only 0.003% of electricity production was generated by wind turbines.
By comparison, Denmark, Luxembourg and Spain each ranked as having the lowest percentage increases when it came to the percentage of electricity production generated by wind turbines between 2000 and 2018, and they lag considerably behind other European nations.
The EU wants wind to account for 50% of the continent's electricity by 2050. The Romanian Wind Energy Association recently launched a Code of Good Practice for renewable energy.
Top 10 countries in Europe for wind growth