Solar Panel Carport Canopies to Provide Up to 20 Percent of Power as Alternative Energy Source
Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC (Nautilus Solar) and Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta) today announce the formal plans to install solar panels at Konica Minolta headquarters in Ramsey, NJ. The goal of the joint venture is to provide an alternative energy source to the Konica Minolta offices and promote corporate sustainability efforts. Nautilus Solar will be the owner and provider of the 839.5-kilowatt photovoltaic system being installed as part of "Project Sunway," and will sell the generated electricity to Konica Minolta at a discount to their current utility rate. Based on standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this project will offset the CO2 emissions from 132 passenger vehicles, or the electricity used by 84 homes.
Project Sunway is part of the long-term environmental vision from parent company Konica Minolta Holdings - Eco Vision 2050. This vision is guided by three main goals for the year 2050: reduce CO2 emissions throughout the product life cycle by 80% compared to 2005 levels; promote recycling and effective use of Earth's limited resources; and work to promote restoration and preservation of biodiversity. As part of this vision, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. has a management strategy focused on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the Nautilus Solar project is part of sustainability initiatives within this strategy.
"We are excited about this partnership with Konica Minolta that will allow the company to continue its leadership in environmental sustainability, while giving us the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment and successful execution to the New Jersey solar market," said James M. Rice, CEO, Nautilus Solar.
The Nautilus Solar system being installed in the parking lots at the Konica Minolta offices will consist of carport canopies supporting approximately 3,498 240W solar panels. Project Sunway will generate approximately 967,000 kWh of solar energy annually, replacing up to 20 percent of the Konica Minolta offices' typical energy consumption. Following a groundbreaking ceremony on October 24, 2012, construction of the carport canopies will begin with expected completion in May of 2013.
"We continue to grow and evolve our sustainability initiatives to incorporate not only our product and solution technologies, but also our own corporate practices and partnering with Nautilus Solar is just another example of our continued commitment to the environment," said Ned Umehara, President & Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Konica Minolta Colorful Tomorrow Foundation, Inc. "Project Sunway will help reduce our overall electricity usage and demonstrate how customers can count on Konica Minolta to be an environmentally-friendly document management solutions provider."
Other Konica Minolta CSR efforts include the Clean Planet Program, the industry's first cost-free plan for recycling consumables from every product sold. In addition, Konica Minolta's own Simitri HD Toner is the world's first polymerized toner produced using plant-based biomass materials to reduce environmental impact. Every Konica Minolta MFP since 1995 has also qualified for the Energy Star label. Energy Star, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, identifies and promotes energy-efficient products and practices. Further, the Colorful Tomorrow Foundation (CTF), a non-profit foundation sponsored by Konica Minolta, focuses on education, healthcare, the environment and disaster relief. Among recent initiatives of the CTF are the USA Natural Disasters Relief Campaign, the Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Relief Campaign, the Haiti Earthquake Relief Campaign, and a high school scholarship program supporting inspirational students from KIPP: McDonogh 15 School for the Creative Arts in New Orleans, Louisiana.