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New England's Largest Solar Power Installation Unveiled at Staples Distribution Center

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), Staples and SunEdison will host a dedication ceremony today to unveil the largest solar power installation in New England at Staples' 300,000-square-foot retail distribution center in Killingly, Conn.

The solar power installation, built at no capital cost to Staples, was made possible through the collaborative effort of CCEF, which provided a $1.7 million grant for the project, and SunEdison, which financed the remaining costs of the project and designed and installed the system. Connecticut State Senate President Pro Tempore Donald E. Williams, Jr. (D-Brooklyn) will speak at today's event, as well as representatives from CCEF, Staples and SunEdison.

The Killingly-based solar power installation, a 433-kilowatt DC commercial solar photovoltaic system, is 1 1/2 times the size of a football field, covering nearly 74,000 square feet of roof space. The solar power system will have a measurable environmental impact and reduce annual carbon emissions equivalent to the amount produced by the average car driving 420,000 miles. The solar power system has the capacity to produce enough energy to cleanly power 14 percent of the distribution center or 36 homes per year.

"We are delighted that Staples chose Killingly, Connecticut, as the site of its largest solar installation in New England and pleased that we could work closely with the company to make the installation possible," said Connecticut State Senate President Pro Tempore Donald E. Williams, Jr. (D-Brooklyn), a former chair of the legislature's Environment Committee. "Staples, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ranked as the fourth largest purchaser of green power among retailers, is a shining example of a national business leader making a positive impact on our climate. The news of late has been dominated by stories of skyrocketing energy costs in Connecticut demonstrating the need for using the latest technology to reduce consumption and the need for additional generation capacity. This new solar installation is exactly what we are talking about when we urge public-private partnerships to address our energy needs. We need more of these initiatives."

"The solar power system installed at our Killingly distribution center is part of Staples' integrated strategy for a seven percent reduction in the company's U.S. carbon emissions by 2010 on an absolute basis, starting from a base year of 2001," said Mark Buckley, vice president of environmental affairs, Staples, Inc. Buckley added, "The solar power system is a win-win proposition for Staples and Connecticut. Through our relationship with solar services provider SunEdison, we're able to purchase solar energy off our rooftop at a rate below or equal to the cost of electricity off the grid. This reduces our operating costs while freeing up more electricity during peak times for use by local homes and businesses."

"SunEdison is extremely proud to have worked closely with Staples and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund in creating New England's largest solar array. This is a milestone for the local community and for solar in Connecticut," noted Jigar Shah, CEO of SunEdison, North America's first and largest solar services provider. "Although solar is complex, both organizations have a true commitment to improving their local communities and meeting achievable environmental goals. Through the solar services model, Staples is able to achieve predictable pricing in their energy costs and do so without incurring a capital outlay. SunEdison is pleased to have built, to own and to maintain such an important solar power array."

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