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Intel’s Folsom campus is set to go solar

Intel Corp.’s Folsom campus is targeted to have the largest of eight new solar power systems the company plans to install in four states.

Intel announced Monday that it has new contracts for generating approximately 2.5 megawatts of solar energy at new solar power projects in California, Oregon, Arizona, and New Mexico.
Intel spokesman Mark Pettinger said the approximately 1-megawatt-plus solar field to be built in Folsom will cover about six acres of ground on the southwest portion of Intel’s property between Highway 50 and Iron Point Road.

The solar field will provide up to 7 percent of the Folsom campus’ overall power supply.

Intel said the Folsom site will be one of the largest non-utility ground-mounts in California. It’s the only one of the planned Intel installations that does not involve solar panels installed on rooftops.

Intel’s Folsom campus employs nearly 6,000.

The Santa Clara-based chip maker said the announcement is part of a larger commitment to green, efficient energy use on its campuses.

“Intel is committed to renewable energy to reduce our own carbon footprint as well as to spur the market and make renewables more economically feasible for individuals and businesses to deploy,” said Brian Krzanich, vice president and general manager of Intel’s manufacturing and supply chain.

He added: “These announcements represent our broader commitment, which includes diversifying our energy portfolio through solar and other clean energy investments, and this will continue to be a priority for us around the globe.”

Pettinger said Intel has approved the Folsom system and has submitted applications to the city of Folsom. The design is being reviewed by the city and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.
Subject to approvals, Intel said it hopes to break ground in Folsom by March 22 and have the system generating power by June 30. All of the new solar installations are expected to be completed over the next seven months.

Pettinger said the contractor on the Intel systems is Foster City-based SolarCity Corp. Financial terms of the project were not disclosed.

Intel’s announcement comes on the heels of a large-scale solar project at Aerojet in Rancho Cordova.
In November, Roseville-based Solar Power Inc. inaugurated a 3.6-megawatt solar-power project – the region’s largest – and announced plans to install an additional 2.4 megawatts on-site by spring.

When completed, the panels will meet just over 10 percent of the rocket producer’s electricity demand and help SMUD meet its goals of expanding solar power and reducing greenhouse gases.
The first phase of the Aerojet project cost about $20 million. The federal government provided a tax credit of 30 percent of the system’s capital cost.