Testa Produce Inc., a Chicago-based produce distributor, says its new distribution center is now partially powered by both PV and solar thermal. The company is seeking to attain the U.S. Green Building Council's highest-available LEED rating – Platinum certification – for the building.
A total of 180 photovoltaic solar panels located on the facility's rear loading dock awnings and on pole-mounted solar ‘trees’ in the parking lot are designed to produce 5,500 kWh of energy annually. Included are 12 panels on each of nine ‘trees,’ which are equipped with plug-in charging stations for electric vehicles.
A solar hot water system heats 100% of the water used in the 91,300 square-foot facility for non-potable purposes and eliminates the need to consume natural gas for heating water. The solar hot water system is among the first U.S. commercial evacuated-tube collector systems to use pure water as the working fluid, the company says.